The Daily Office | March 10, 2018
Psalms 50, 51, 52
Psalms 53, 54, 55
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: The Third Sunday in Lent
Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus says that he is himself living bread from heaven, and that anyone who eats of this bread will live into the age to come. His very flesh is bread given for the life of the world. How can we ourselves partake of this bread? Participate in the very body and blood of Jesus so that it can be said of us that we abide in Jesus and he in us? And so gain this age-to-come life that Jesus promises?
Notice what Jesus says in 6:44: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him." And in 6:63: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
We do not partake of Jesus and gain age-to-come life by our own doing. It is the work of God, Father, Son, and Spirit. When the Father draws us to Jesus and the Spirit is at work to bring us life, we will respond to Jesus and his words like Simon Peter did: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of age-to-come life."
And as Simon Peter puts it, we will not just believe the words, but having come to faith by the working of the Triune God, we will come to know: to truly know the love of the Father by truly knowing his love expressed in Jesus God's Son, all by the powerful and effective working of the Holy Spirit!