A Letter from Fr. Tom - November 14th

News November 15, 2021

The Collect for this Thirty-third week in Ordinary Time is the penultimate (next-to-last) Collect of the liturgical season.  As we come to the end of Ordinary Time, we pray that we may be devoted in our service to God:

Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness
           to serve with constancy
          the author of all that is good.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
         in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Notice that the notion of constancy is an important aspect of this prayer, being mentioned twice: “constant gladness” and “to serve with constancy.”  Constancy implies steadfastness and firmness; something that doesn’t weaken.  The gladness that results from being devoted to God is full and lasting happiness.  It doesn’t weaken.  We experience full and lasting happiness when we serve God—the creator of everything that is good—with constancy; with an unweakened faithfulness.  Constant happiness comes from constant service to God.

God himself is constant: never changing, always true.  Change is a difference over time, but since God is outside of time, he does not change; God is constant.  This means that everything about God is constant and unchanging, including his mercy and his love for us.  In a world in which everything is in constant change—"The only constant is change itself,” according to the ancient philosopher Heraclitus—God stands apart from the world as constant and unchanging.

As we approach the end of Ordinary Time, take this Collect to prayer with you this week and reflect on what it means for God to be constant, true, and never-changing.  In our constant service to the author of everything good we imitate Jesus, whose obedience to the Father is constant and unwavering.  Pray that you may be constant in your devotion, for from unwavering devotion comes unwavering gladness, the full and lasting happiness that only God can give.

God bless you,

Fr. Tom