SIXTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
February 12, 2017
O God, who teach us that you abide
in hearts that are just and true,
grant that we may be so fashioned by your grace
as to become a dwelling pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
This collect originated in the Gelasian Sacramentary for the Sunday after the Ascension of the Lord. God abides in the hearts that are just and true. We ask that we might be the kind of people in whom God is pleased to dwell. This collect concerns about God’s abiding presence. There is perhaps the resonance with the image of the vine and the branches in John 15:10. A version of this prayer also appears in the missals’ collect for the common of virgins, focusing on the virtue of the purity of heart.
Moreover, the collect reminds us that we are “fashioned by grace”, which means God is our master builders and the stones of our foundation are the commandment or His Law. The building blocks can be named just like following the law of God built on charity for love of God and others. We know intellectually that God loves us without condition. Thus we can understand as human beings that the more grace is within us, the more pleasure God takes with us. The notion of “grace” mirrors God’s love toward us and within us. The greatest grace that God provides for us is the gift of Jesus his Son. Through that gift, grace redeems us and is the gift that transforms us. The grace cements our adoption as a child of God. The heart is the spiritual dwelling place for grace. And grace is the creative force in our hearts that empowers and “fashions” us to love.