Trinity Sunday May 30,2010



 The Collect

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle
Revelation 4:1


AFTER this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. And the first was like a lion, and the second like a calf, and the third had a face as a man, and the fourth was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those living creatures give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are, and were created.

The Gospel
St. John 3:1


THERE was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

























 

THE MALE PRIESTHOOD

Anglicans believe that the sacred, threefold ministry of Deacons, Priests and Bishops is limited to males. To explain this, we must delve somewhat into the differences between the Catholic and the Protestant traditions of Christianity.

A Protestant minister is a minister. A Catholic priest is both a minister and a priest. The difference is both subtle and great. A “minister” is a preacher, pastor, teacher, counselor (and, of course, administrator). But he does not serve at the altar, he does not administer the Sacraments, and he does not stand in the unbroken line of descent from Christ’s Apostles.

This last point, the Apostolic Succession, is important. The threefold Apostolic Ministry has been a hallmark of the Church Catholic since the earliest days. However, the Protestant part of Christendom chose to discard this hallmark at the Reformation. It thereby discarded Catholicism and the Sacraments, and kept for itself only ministers, not priests.

It is unarguable that the Deity is not sexual, as that term is understood by human beings. Nevertheless, Christ was, in His human nature, a male. He consistently taught us to think of God as a Father. One cannot ignore this consistent imagery, plus the fact that Christ did not choose to include women among His Apostles, and thereby established the principle of a male priesthood. For two thousand year the Church Catholic has followed His lead in this matter.

There is certainly no bar to women in the ministry. Christ had many women in His following and they undoubtedly ministered in various ways to His disciples. There would seem to be nothing in Christ’s teachings or practice to prohibit women from serving as ministers in many aspects of Church life—as teachers, counselors, administrators, etc. They do serve in many of these areas in Catholic bodies. But in Catholicism, of which Anglicanism is a part, that ordained ministry carried with it priesthood, and thus women cannot be accepted into ordination. The Priest serves at the altar, and the altar is not just another piece of furniture, not just a repository for cross, flowers, and a Bible. It is the place where the great Sacramental Mysteries of God are celeb rated. When the Priest stands at the altar to celebrate the Last Supper, the Eucharist, the Mass, he does so as Christ’s icon, as Christ’s “other self;” he stands in the place of the God who came to us in human form as a man. When he pronounces the absolution, he is the delegated successor of the Apostles, men to whom Christ gave the power to “remit” and to “retain.”

The inability of women to serve in this way has nothing to do with their physical, mental, or moral ability to serve. Many could do all the things that priests do. In individual cases, they might do them better than given individual men. But the form of the priesthood as set by Christ, not by men, and we must remain loyal to Him.

This categorical principle of priesthood in no way stigmatizes women as inferior. It is a mystical, dominical, and theological differentiation between women and men, just as real as the physical differentiations between women and men. God has highly honored women. He chose Mary to be the Mother of Christ, making her that mysterious and paradoxical figure, “the Mother of God.” Christ highly honored women. He loved Mary and Martha. He forgave and loved Mary Magdalene. To women was entrusted the honor of discovering the empty tomb and thus being the first witnesses to the Resurrection. But as God in His wisdom chose to send His Son to the world as a man, so Christ, in His divine wisdom chose to use men as His Apostles and the prototypes of the priesthood. The pattern has been set of us. Can we change all this? The Catholic has always believed we cannot.


Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

A prayer for a peaceful and honorable Election.

In the Name of  the Father + the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the Republic of the Philippines in the Election of Officials and Representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our Nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. God Bless the Philippines!!!

Please Vote on May 10, 2010