Leonard Goffine's The Church's Year. Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. Glory etc. COLLECT Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep us from all things that are hurtful; that we, being set free both in mind and body, may with ready minds accomplish whatever is Thine.
October 20th (19th Sunday After Pentecost): “Equipped For Every Good Work”
I am the salvation of the people saith the Lord: in whatever tribulation they shall cry to me, I will hear them. And I will be their Lord forever. Attend, O my people, to my law. Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. The proponents of change as both necessary and good — which it is automatically neither one or the other — usually point out how we are in the process of creating a better world, a better society, a world in which our children will live deeper an richer lives. The problem with this vision is that it is not corroborated by reality. A better society is not one that advocates, for example, the legalized barbarism of mothers murdering their children, or the practitioners of medicine exterminating the terminally ill to name but two examples. In truth, our world which is sinking more deeply into a dark age of moral depravity each day, rejects, ever more and more, the most fundamental law which governs human conduct: the Natural Law. This is not what scientists refer to when speaking of the laws of nature.
The theme here is cultivation of new order. The passage uses images and symbols of a gardening and cultivation: sow and seed of human and animals Jeremiah , to plant v28 , grapes v God shows himself as someone who cultivated and grows and grows and weeds out those things that are rotten and bad and not productive.
The readings this week stress persistence in our approach to God. When we step up, we are invited to do so with confidence knowing that God has everything we need for every good work. Jacob wrestles with God and would not let go until God blessed him. He had so much confidence that this blessing would be there that he did not even let go when in pain from his hip being dislocated. Paul urges Timothy also to persistence in sharing the Gospel no matter what the circumstances. He points to scripture not as something to be wielded but used for the purpose of equipping and training everyone for good work and to carry out ministry fully. The Gospel has Jesus asking the question that if persistence works with the unjust judge, how much more will it work with the one who loves justice.