October 16 Devotional (2021)


October 16 Commemoration: The Oxford Martyrs

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after The examples of thy servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


October 16, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 8:1-18 / Isaiah 47:10-15 / Luke 22:24-30

Invitatory

The mercy of the Lord is everlasting: Come let us adore him.

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.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,

    the Father, the Almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth,

    of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

    the only Son of God,

    eternally begotten of the Father,

    God from God, Light from Light,

    true God from true God,

    begotten, not made,

    of one Being with the Father.

    Through him all things were made.

    For us and for our salvation

        he came down from heaven:

    by the power of the Holy Spirit

        he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

        and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

        he suffered death and was buried.

        On the third day he rose again

            in accordance with the Scriptures;

        he ascended into heaven

            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

        and his kingdom will have no end.

    who proceeds from the Father [and the Son].

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

    He has spoken through the Prophets.

    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

    We look for the resurrection of the dead,

        and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Hymn: Nunc dimittis (The Song of Simeon) 

“This prayer is found in Luke 2:29-32. God promised the prophet Simeon that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. Later, when Simeon met the infant Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, he recognized God’s promise and proclaimed this beautiful song of praise. It is traditionally said at the end of the day and is called Nunc dimittus, Latin for ‘now depart.’” [1]

Lyrics: 

Lord, you now have set your servant free 

To go in peace as you have promised; 

For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, 

Whom you have prepared for all the world to see: 

A Light to enlighten the nations, 

And the glory of your people Israel. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: 

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.


A Fourth Century Prayer for Protection 

Be gracious to our prayers, O merciful God, and guard Your people with loving protection; that they who confess Your only begotten Son as God, born in our bodily flesh, may never be corrupted by the deceits of the devil; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. —Ambrose [2]

Short Verse

“After Christ’s death the Apostle expresses a desire to be dissolved and be with Christ: Hence, we are told: ‘Fear not them that kill the body’ (Mt. 10:28).”

St. Thomas Aquinas

[3]

Morning Reading: 1 Samuel 8:1-18

Samuel warns against kings

1 As Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel. 2 Joel and Abijah, his oldest sons, held court in Beersheba. 3 But they were not like their father, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice.

4 Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. 5 “Look,” they told him, “you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have.”

6 Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the LORD for guidance. 7 “Do everything they say to you,” the LORD replied, “for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. 8 Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. 9 Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.”

10 So Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. 12 Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. 13 The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. 14 He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. 16 He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. 17 He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.”

Morning Lesson

The people’s sinful request for a king

“The people of Israel had not had a king since they entered the Promised Land because, in principle, they recognized only God as their ruler.” [4] “The move toward the establishment of a monarchy accelerated because of the corruption of Samuel’s sons (8:1–9).” [5] “The Law given by God ought to have governed their lives without resort to an earthly monarch, but this was not the case. Over the years, God had appointed judges who served as the leaders of Israel. Samuel, who was both the last of the judges and a prophet, was approached by the people to ask God for a king to rule Israel; the failure of Samuel’s own sons to serve as exemplary and faithful judges probably made the situation all the more urgent.” [6] “The people’s request, however, angered Samuel who claimed that a king would not be an instrument of justice but of oppression (8:10–18).” [7] “For Samuel, the request for a king was an insult to the Lord. After all, God had always defended a loyal Israel. Why would Israel want a king? Samuel warned the Israelites that their rejection of God would lead to God’s refusal to answer them in time of need (8:18).” [8] 

“Samuel warned the people of the many ways that a king could oppress them,” but “[t]he people adamantly insisted on having a king ‘like all the nations’ to fight their wars.” [9] [10] “When the people did not relent, Samuel turned to God who instructed Samuel to appoint a king as the people had requested; the king, however, would be of God’s choosing and would be under God’s direction.” [11] “This story, of course, reflects Israel’s experience of the monarchy. It proved ineffective in preventing the disasters that eventually befell the two Israelite kingdoms. First Samuel implies that this outcome was, in some sense, determined by the people’s sinful request for a king.” [12] 


A Fourth Century Prayer for the Holy Spirit 

O holy Spirit, Love of God, infuse Your grace, and descend plentifully into my heart; enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling, and scatter there Your cheerful beams; dwell in that soul that longs to be Your temple; water that barren soil, over-run with weeds and briars, and lost for want of cultivating, and make it fruitful with Your dew from heaven. Oh come, You refreshment of them that languish and faint. Come, You Star and Guide of them that sail in the tempestuous sea of the world; You only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked. Come, You Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying. Come, Holy Spirit, in much mercy, and make me fit to receive You. AMEN. 

—Augustine [13] 

Midday Intercession

[14]

Short Verse

“Truth suffers, but never dies.”

St. Teresa of Avila

[15]

Midday Reading: Isaiah 47:10-15

Futile trust in those who cannot save

10 You felt secure in your wickedness;

you said, “No one sees me”;

your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray,

and you said in your heart,

“I am, and there is no one besides me.”

11 But evil shall come upon you,

which you will not know how to charm away;

disaster shall fall upon you,

for which you will not be able to atone;

and ruin shall come upon you suddenly,

of which you know nothing.

12 Stand fast in your enchantments

and your many sorceries,

with which you have labored from your youth;

perhaps you may be able to succeed;

perhaps you may inspire terror.

13 You are wearied with your many counsels;

let them stand forth and save you,

those who divide the heavens,

who gaze at the stars,

who at the new moons make known

what shall come upon you.

14 Behold, they are like stubble;

the fire consumes them;

they cannot deliver themselves

from the power of the flame.

No coal for warming oneself is this,

no fire to sit before!

15 Such to you are those with whom you have labored,

who have done business with you from your youth;

they wander about, each in his own direction;

there is no one to save you.

Midday Lesson

Gurus won’t deliver you

“The people of Babylon sought advice and help from astrologers and stargazers,” just like many people today turn to gurus of all sorts, both in person and online, from spiritual gurus to alternative-medicine gurus and everything in between. [16] “But like the idols of wood or gold, [the ancient] astrologers [Israel turned to for deliverance] could not even deliver themselves from what was to come from the hand of God.” [17] 

“Why rely on those who are powerless? The helpless cannot help us. Alternatives to God are destined to fail. If you want help, find it in God, who has proven his power in creation and in history.” [18]


A Fourth Century Prayer for Steadfastness 

O God, the light of every heart that sees You, the Life of every soul that loves You, the strength of every mind that seeks You, grant me ever to continue steadfast in Your holy love. Be You the joy of my heart; take it all to Thyself, and therein abide. The house of my soul is, I confess, too narrow for You: do you enlarge it, that You may enter in; it is ruinous, but do You repair it. It has that within which must offend Your eyes; I confess and know it; but whose help shall I implore in cleansing it, but Your alone? To You, therefore, I cry urgently, begging that You wilt cleanse me from my secret faults, and keep Your servant from presumptuous sins, that they never get dominion over me. AMEN. 

—Augustine [19]

Short Verse

“All the things in this world are gifts of God, created for us, to be the means by which we can come to know him better, love him more surely, and serve him more faithfully.”

St. Ignatius of Loyola

[20]
Woman Holding a Balance
By Johannes Vermeer (1662–1663)

Eventide Reading: Luke 22:24-30

The greatness of one who serves

24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

28 “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, 29 and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, 30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Eventide Lesson

Christ discerns the heart

At the Last Supper, Christ offered the cup of the New Covenant, and He revealed that His betrayer was amongst them. See verses 20-24.

“Christ did not directly identify his betrayer, leading the Apostles to speculate over his identification. A discussion then began about which of them is the greatest Apostle.” [21]

The “small-minded dispute” in verses 24-37 “is out of place in the context of the mysteries Christ has just revealed. He corrects the apostles by first comparing them to the power-hungry Gentiles, whom they themselves considered an abomination, and contrasting them to Himself, who serves us though He is Lord of all.” [22]

“While all would have places in honor at the heavenly banquet, their mission was not one of being honored but of serving others with selfless concern according to the example of Christ. The successors of the Apostles, the bishops of the Church, although they govern with authority, are to do so in a spirit of service.” [23]

St. Ambrose of Milan explained, “Christ judges by discerning the heart, and not by examining deeds. So also the apostles are being shaped to exercise spiritual judgment concerning faith, and in rebuking error with virtue.” [24]

“The apostles [would] judge not with earthly judgment, but with the witness of their own lives. Since God’s kingdom begins with the resurrection of Christ, the authority of judgement has already been given to the apostles and their successors in the journey of the Church on earth (Mt 16:19; Jn 20:23).” [25]

Compline Prayer

Lord, let my sleep be a cessation, as from labour, so also from sin; even so, O Lord. Neither in my dreams let me imagine aught that may offend thee or defile myself. Let not my loins be filled with illusions; But let my reins instruct me in the night-season. Amen.

  • Lancelot Andrewes [26]

Citations:

[1] Kitch, A. E. (2004). Praying through the Day. In The Anglican family prayer book (Kindle ed., pp. 215). Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub.

[2] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fourth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 35). essay. 

[3] St. Thomas Aquinas quotation source: https://twitter.com/Aquinas_Quotes/status/1432462633106608138?s=19

[4] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Samuel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 771). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[5] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 & 2 Samuel. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 396). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[6] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Samuel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 771). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[7] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 & 2 Samuel. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 396). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[8] Ibid. 7

[9] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Samuel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 771). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[10] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 & 2 Samuel. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 396). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[11] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Samuel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 771). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[12] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 & 2 Samuel. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 396). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[13] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fourth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 41). essay. 

[14] Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 526). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[15] St. Teresa of Avila quotation source: https://www.coraevans.com/blog/article/14-Of-The-Most-Powerful-Peace-Quotes-From-St-Teresa-Of-Avila

[16] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Isaiah. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 7728). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16

[19] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fourth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 342). essay. 

[20] St. Ignatius of Loyola quotation source: https://www.azquotes.com/author/9092-Ignatius_of_Loyola

[21] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3148). Downers Grove,, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[22] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1423). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[23] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3148). Downers Grove,, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[24] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1423). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[25] Ibid. 24

[26] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews (Kindle ed., p. 2659). Unknown. Kindle Edition. 

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