Commentary from THE ANNOTATED
BOOK OF COMMON
PRAYEREdited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT
Rivingtons, London, 1884
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
The Sundays and other Festivals from Advent to Trinity form one system
of dogmatic illustrations of Christianity: Prayer and the words of Holy
Scripture all combining to present the memorial of primary truths before
God in acts of worship, and before man as words of instruction. The
Sundays after Trinity may be regarded as a system illustrating the practical
life of Christianity, founded on the truths previously represented, and
guided by the example of our Blessed Lord. There is a Rubric given
on this Sunday in the Salisbury Missal: "Memoria de Trinitate fiat omnibus
dominicis usque ad adventum Domini."
The love of God and the love of man are - one may almost say, of course
- the first subject selected for the Eucharistic Scriptures in this system,
as shown in St. John's wonderful definition of love, and in the historical
parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In the Epistle St. John shows
that God's own love for mankind is the source and spring of all love towards
Him, and that all true love towards Him is shown by the evidence of charity.
The Gospel, independently of the revelation made in it concerning the state
of the departed, places in the most awful light the sin of being without
Christian love; and the utter incompatibility of such a condition with
a life that will gain the award of future happiness. In teaching
this truth our Blessed Lord also revealed to us the intermediate state.
Although the Last Judgement was very distant when He told the Jews this
history of two men who had, perhaps, been known to them, yet He put it
beyond doubt that the souls which had departed from their bodies were as
living and conscious as they had ever been, and that their condition was
already that of those upon whom a preliminary judgement had been passed;
an award of happiness to the one, of torment to the other.