18th Sunday After Trinity: (18) Moon

Today the Trinity (19) Sun is joined by the (18) Moon, the greater and the lesser light, which also serve as symbols for the “great commandment” and the “second” which “is like unto it.”

The second commandment, to “love thy neighbour as thyself” is lunar in this respect, that it is first informed by the love of God that burns in the heart of the mystic like the light of the sun itself, and which is then poured out onto others as love for our neighbours; a light that reflects the degree of love for ourselves as divinely inspired lovers of the Lord, for in loving the Lord “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” we learn also to love ourselves as works of the same Lord, with a joyfulness that spontaneously pours out onto those around us and reflects back from them to us the light of divine love that is the first impulse of our love for ourselves; and in the light that is cast by that divinely inspired love from us unto them we see, reflected in them, manifold images of ourselves as both loving and worthy of being loved.

For the wholehearted love of God does not “use up” all the love that our hearts, souls and minds have to give, but instead, we find flowing back to us, but now magnified and glorified, that same perennial love and with it comes the inestimable gift of grace, which is the capacity freely and unconditionally to love others no matter what phase of life they may find themselves in. Nor did that love that flows back to us originate with us, for as Saint John writes,

We love him, because he first loved us.

1 John 4: 19

The Collect

Lord, we beseech thee, Grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Old Testament Reading

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

Psalm 36: 17

New Testament Reading

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 22: 37-39

Liturgical Affirmation

Ego sum lux mundi; omnia tempus habent et suis spatiis transeunt universa sub caelo.

I am the light of the world; all things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.

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