While this is the 4th Sunday of Easter in the newish reformed calendar, it is the 3rd Sunday after Easter in the Church’s traditional calendar, which this week receives our attention. Let’s see the Collect for this 3rd Sunday.
Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire iustitiae, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis, da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini, et ea quae sunt apta sectari.
This Sunday’s Collect survived the knives of the liturgical experts and was inserted into the 1970 Missale Romanum on the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time. The experts who glued the Novus Ordo together removed iustitiae, thus returning it to its form in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary. Notwithstanding, we prayed it with iustitiae from at least the promulgation of the 1570 Missale Romanum to our own day.
Literal translation: O God, who do show the light of Your truth to the erring so that they might be able to return unto the way of justice, grant to all who are distinguished by their profession of Christ that they may both strongly reject those things which are inimical to this name of Christian and follow eagerly the things which are suited to it.
ICEL (2011 – 15th Ordinary Sunday): O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path [in viam possint redire], give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honour.
Whenever I pray this, I am reminded of Dante, his own protagonist in his Divine Comedy. At the beginning of his anabasis through Hell, back to the right path of the life of reason, awoke to find himself lost in a dark wood. We often describe people who are ignorant, confused or obtuse as “wandering around in the dark”. This applies also doubly to persistent sinners. When we sin, we break ourselves off from the Light, who is Christ, the only Truth, the very Way. And sin makes us stupid. How often does it happen that one sin, once given in to, then leads to others until the dark woods close around us?
We who profess the name of Christ must be interiorly bright and exemplary in word and deed. Go to Confession.
Image: William Blake’s illustration of the Divine Comedy (Wikimedia)
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