Sermon for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity

“Nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net”

It is, to my mind, a powerful picture and an enchanting scene. Jesus sits down in a boat which he uses as a pulpit for teaching those that “pressed upon him to hear the word of God,” then bids Simon to “launch out into the deep and to let down [the] nets.” There is the intriguing response of Simon Peter. “Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless, at thy word I will let down the net.” It captures a marvelous moment and one which speaks to the existential despair of our age as well as providing the exact counter to our sense of futility and hopelessness.

What follows is equally marvelous. Having let down their nets, “they inclosed a great number of fishes, and their net brake.” Another ship is beckoned to come to their aid and yet the catch is so overwhelming that it “fill[s] both the ships, so that they began to sink.” It is a great marvel and it sparks a further response from Simon Peter: “depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord” to which Jesus replies, “fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men.” We are very much in the presence of God, it seems. The story marks Luke’s account of the call to discipleship of Simon Peter and the others.

In God’s Providence, this Gospel story read on The Fifth Sunday after Trinity coincides with Petertide, the Church’s celebration of St. Peter and St. Paul, the twin pillars and princes, we might say, of the Apostolic Church, so outstanding and so incalculable is their witness. Their joint commemoration is a kind of accident of history, on the one hand, and the providence of God, on the other hand, having to do with the coming together of their bodies to a common place of burial in the sixth century, long after their martyrdoms in Rome. Yet there is something fitting about their being commemorated together. It speaks to the truth and unity of the Church’s mission and life.

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Schedule of Services for Summer 2013

Sunday, July 7th, Sixth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. Thomas’, Three Mile Plains
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

Sunday, July 14th, Seventh Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Reunion Service – KES
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church
7:00pm Evening Prayer – All Saints’, Leminster

Saturday, July 20th
7:30pm Christ Church Concert Series: Ensemble Seraphina

Sunday, July 21st, Eighth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. Michael’s, Windsor Forks
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

Sunday, July 28th, Ninth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. George’s, Falmouth
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

Sunday, August 4th, Tenth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. Thomas’, Three Mile Plains
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

Sunday, August 11th, Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church
7:00pm Evening Prayer – All Saints’, Leminster

Sunday, August 18th, Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. Michael’s, Windsor Forks
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

Sunday, August 25th, Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
8:00am Holy Communion – Christ Church
9:00am Holy Communion – St. George’s, Falmouth
10:30am Holy Communion – Christ Church

(Fr. David Curry is Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Avon Valley during July;
Fr. Tom Henderson is Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Christ Church during August)

The Fifth Sunday After Trinity

The collect for today, The Fifth Sunday after Trinity, from The Book of Common Prayer (Canadian, 1962):

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle: 1 St. Peter 3:8-15a
The Gospel: St. Luke 5:1-11

Artwork: Giovanni Francesco Gessi, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, 1645. Church of San Girolamo della Certosa, Bologna.

St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostles

The collects for today, the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul the Apostles, from The Book of Common Prayer (Canadian, 1962):

O almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock: Make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who, through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we beseech thee, that we, having his manifold labours in remembrance, may show forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doctrine which he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle: 1 St. Peter 1:1-9
The Gospel: St. Matthew 16:13-19

Artwork: Saint Peter & Saint Paul, 9th-century mosaic, Chapel of San Zeno, Basilica of Saint Praxades, Rome.

Irenaeus, Bishop and Doctor

The collect for today, the Feast of Saint Irenaeus (d. 202), Bishop of Lyon, Doctor of the Church (source):

O God of peace,
who through the ministry of thy servant Irenæus
didst strengthen the true faith and bring harmony to thy Church:
keep us steadfast in thy true religion
and renew us in faith and love,
that we may ever walk in the way
that leadeth to everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The Epistle: 2 Timothy 2:22b-26
The Gospel: St. Luke 11:33-36

Artwork: Pierrot Feré, Baptism of Saint Irenaeus (detail of the Saint Piat Tapestry), 1402. Treasury of the Cathedral, Tournai.