The collect today asks our Lord that he would be our defence against our enemies. If I had to come up with a verb to describe this Sunday, then I would use “sustain.” We ask the Lord to sustain us and to help us to carry out the good work that He has begun in each of us. What sustains us?
The Word and Sacraments sustain us which are administered each week at Mass. We hear the Word spoken and preached. We are fed by the Word, but we are also fed by the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. These sustain us, but let us look at how each sacrament also sustains us.
In Baptism, we are washed and regenerated by God so that we may be sustained to carry on the mission of the Church.
In the Sacrament of Marriage, we are sustained by our spouse but also by the God who brought the couple together. He gave us this sacrament to sustain us but also to sustain the Church. Through the Sacrament, children are brought forth and they sustain the Church.
In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the bishop lays his hands on the person and they are sustained by the Holy Spirit.
In the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the man is sustained by God to carry out the vocation that God has called him to in the Church. He is sustained by the Holy Spirit to die to himself and conform himself to the image of Christ.
In the Sacrament of Confession/Penance (Auricular Confession), we confess our sins to the priest who reminds us of the absolution that Jesus has won for us on the Cross. He sustains us to continue on our path to sanctification.
In the Sacrament of Unction, the Lord heals us so that we may be made whole and that our bodies physically and spiritually might be sustained.
The Life of the Church is about being sustained. We are sustained by His Holy Spirit. Trust in the Word and Sacraments. These are gifts given to us to sustain us. If you are not baptised, consider speaking to your priest. If you are not confirmed, consider talking to your priest about catechesis. If you have something weighing you down, consider talking to your priest about making a confession (This is not something required, but is helpful to our lives). If you are sick, consider asking the priest for unction. If you are desiring to be married, speak to your priest. The Church is about being sustained. Let us ask the Lord that He would sustain us.
Fr. Brandon Cribbs