(21 September 2014, 6 September 2015)
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which you do promise, make us to love that which you do command; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Kings 5:9-16; Psalm 118:1-9; Galatians 5:16-24; Luke 17:11-19
The Epistle reading contains a popularly-known quote: listing “the fruit of the Spirit.” What’s particularly important in this Sunday’s context is what St. Paul wrote about the opposition of the Spirit and the flesh – the desires of the flesh keep us from doing what is right. As the Collect reminds us, faith, hope, and love are gifts that God gives us, and as we grow in them our hearts are transformed also to love God and his commands. Then, with the fruit of the Spirit, we’ll become more like the Samaritan leper who actually returned to thank Jesus, and not hesitate in obeying God as Naaman did. For as the Psalm says, “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”