O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Today marks the beginning of the pre-lenten period. We transition from the joy of the manifestation of Christ in the Epiphany to the sorrowful time of the Crucifixion of Christ in the period of Lent to Good Friday. Septuagesima is often related to the Fall. This is most likely due to the words of the collect that remind us that we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
In the epistle, we are reminded of staying faithful and running the race that is set before us. St. Paul reminds us that we have a mission and that we must stay faithful to the mission of Christ. We have suffered because of the original sin caused by Adam and Eve but we must remember that Christ gave Himself so that we would not be punished for these sins. We remember that Christ is our mission and He is the prize.
In the Gospel, we are reminded that God calls us all to work in His vineyard. We each have a part to play, but that we should never think that one of us deserves more because we have worked longer or that we are better. For our sins, we should be punished. However, Christ gave up His life and paid that debt. He gave us that “coin” so that we would not be punished but rather the ransom could be paid for our benefit. He paid our loan.
As we remember the Fall, let us not forget that God had this planned out from the beginning. He did not leave us nor forsake us. He sees our broken world, He sees you, He sees me, and He keeps loving us no matter what happens. The Fall is not the end, but it is a reminder of the love He has for us, the love that would be shown on the Cross.
Fr. Brandon Cribbs