Introit Arise, why do you sleep, O Lord? arise, and cast us not off to the end. Why do you turn your face away, and forget our trouble? Our belly has cleaved to the earth: Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us. Ps. ibid. 2. We have heard, O God, with our ears: our fathers have declared to us. ℣. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.—Arise…
Collect O God, who sees that we put not our trust in anything that we do: mercifully grant, that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
Epistle Brethren: You gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face. I speak according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews, so am I. They are Israelites, so am I. They are the seed of Abraham, so am I.
They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise), I am more: in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea: in journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren: in labour and painfulness, in much watching, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness; besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is scandalized, and I am not afire?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knows that I lie not. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, whether in the body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows, such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man, whether in the body or out of the body I know not, God knows: that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter. For such a one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. For, though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he sees in me, or anything he hears from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And He said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee, for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Gradual Let the Gentiles know that God is Thy Name: Thou alone art the Most High over all the earth. O my God, make them like a wheel, and as stubble before the wind.
Tract Thou hast moved the earth, O Lord, and hast troubled it. Heal Thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved. That they may flee from before the bow: that Thine elect may be delivered.
Gospel (Luke 8:4-15) At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities unto Jesus, He spoke by a parable: “The sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the wayside, and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock: and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns, and the thorns, growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground: and being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold.” Saying these things, He cried out: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
And His disciples asked Him what this parable might be. To whom He said: To you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables: that seeing they may not see, and hearing may not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the wayside are they that hear: then the devil comes, and takes the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock, are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no roots: for they believe for a while, and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard, and going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground, are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.
Offertory Perfect my goings in your paths, that my footsteps be not moved: incline your ear, and hear my words: show forth your wonderful mercies, you save them that trust in you, O Lord.
Secret May the Sacrifice offered to you, O Lord, ever quicken us and protect us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son …
Communion I will go unto the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth.
Postcommunion We humbly beseech you, Almighty God, to grant that they whom you refresh with your Sacraments, may worthily serve you by lives well-pleasing to you. Through our Lord your faithful people, O God, be strengthened by your gifts; that in receiving them, they may seek after them the more, and in seeking them, may receive them for ever. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…
The readings this week are very long. The Epistle, in particular, teaches the lesson that whatever we have been through, whether good or bad, God’s grace is sufficient for us.