Collect for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear than we to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord. Amen APBA p.554
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 6-14
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs; and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under foot and turn and maul you.
7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
12 “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy [d] that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Peter Galbraith
The listeners to the Sermon on the Mount have had a challenging experience. At times it must have seemed that even thinking was a risky business – in the presence of one of whom the woman at the well would say “Come and see someone who told me everything I ever did”. (John 4:29).
Here in Matthew Chapter 7 (verses 7 –12) Jesus changes the theme from thought to action. “Ask”; “Search”; “Knock”; “Give”; “Do”. A message that is repeated throughout the New Testament. “Don’t bury your talent in the ground” Matthew 25; “Let us not grow weary in well-doing”; Galations 6; “Faith without works is dead” James 2.
But Jesus has been careful to prepare the way, warning his listeners in anticipation (verse 6) not to “throw your pearls before swine”. As a saying that has made its way into the vernacular it is another reminder of the Judeo-Christian heritage behind our civilisation, where its wisdom is captured in other advice such as “Look before you leap”. Individuals and groups have only so much energy and resources at their disposal. To direct these thoughtlessly towards unfruitful ends is futile, and sometimes dangerous as Jesus has spelled out.
Perhaps this message can also be a metaphor for our own times. As we move from a period of COVID-19 enforced reflection to a new period of activity, actionable decisions await. How best to use our various resources, whether personal, professional, or church related, so that pearls are cast, with God’s guidance, where they will do the most good.
You teach us to do unto others as we would
like them to do unto us.
Help us by your grace to live in harmony with you
and others, all the days of our lives.
Renew our desire to be your faithful servants
and grant us joy of heart which comes from
doing your holy will, through Christ our Lord. Amen.