Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy household the Church in continual godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (Collect for Trinity XXII).
The Church is God’s household. We, the Body of Christ, are born into the divine family through our Baptism. When we celebrate Holy Communion, God’s family gathers at the Father’s table. The Church is made holy by the washing with blood Christ shed on the cross, the blood shed by the, “Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.” When our Lord Jesus returns, the Church will be presented to Him as His spotless bride.
Last week, I wrote about saints in the parish email (November 4 & 5, 2015), preached about saints at Wednesday’s noon Mass, and again Sunday on All Saints Day. We, those who are baptized into Christ’s Church and follow Jesus as Lord, are the Saints of God in the Church Militant. We have work to do. We have a calling, and part of that calling is to become holy. We do this through the power of the Holy Spirit. God has begun a work in us all. We should pray, as did St. Paul, “…that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6 KJV).”
In the Collect, we pray, “…that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities…” The Church faces opposition in the World. It is attacked by the unbelieving world, and by those who do not believe the truth contained in Holy Scripture. We pray for God’s protection of the Church, not only so that it can survive, but so that it may serve God through Good works.
We must pray with fervor, so that we may be holy, protected by God, and serve Him in Good works. Then, with God’s help, we will persevere as members of Christ’s Church, God’s household of faith.