Edited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT
Rivingtons, London, 1884
FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY.
The connection of the Sunday with the Epiphany season is not made so clear
in the Gospel of the Tares and the Wheat, as in that of those the Gospels
of which record the Manifestation of the glory of Christ in His acts.
Yet it reveals Him as the Lord of the Church for its government as well
as for its preservation; and shows that even when He seems to be suffering
evil that might be prevented, His purpose is still full of love for His
own, lest the wheat should be injured by the destruction of the tares.
And as, moreover, our Lord Himself has explained that the seed is the WORD
of God, that is, His own Person, this Gospel and Sunday must be regarded
as setting forth the glory of Christ in the increase of His Church, and
the development of that Kingdom on earth which is to form so large a portion
of the eternal dominion of the King of kings. It shows also the ultimate
triumph of the WORD in the face of all opposition. Men may sleep
who should have guarded the field, and the enemy may seem to have gained
an advantage by which the glory of the WORD is dimmed; but God waits His
time, and when that is fulfilled sends forth His servants to undo the work
of the Evil One; so that the glory of the Redeemer is manifested by the
gathering in of a large harvest of the redeemed into His heavenly garner.
The Epistle for this Sunday takes up the course of St. Paul's Epistles
from the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity, and both Gospel and Epistle
have a relation to the season of Advent, because they used frequently to
be required to complete that of Trinity.