There is a problem in our current liturgical system.
Well, there are many problems, but this week there is one glaring issue.
The problem is that there is only one set of Collects (prayers) for Sundays in the Church. This means that for Proper 15 in Years A, B, and C we use the same prayer.
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
In Year A, the prayer is matched with Jesus comparing a Caananite women to a dog. Ummmm?
In Year B, the prayer is matched with Jesus claiming his status as the living bread. OK.
In this year, Year C, the prayer is matched with Jesus telling his disciples that he didn't come to bring peace, but a sword. Example?
How did this prayer get matched with these three Gospel lessons? I have no idea, but somebody wasn't thinking. Like at all. Seems to me if we are going to pray that we might "follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life" that we might find lessons showing us such holiness rather than calling on preachers to explain the whole dog thing or as TKT ponders, "why do we pray for peace, when Jesus said he wasn't bringing it?"
Still, this Sunday we will stand for the reading of the Gospel and recognize the presence of Jesus, sword and all, in our midst. And we will pray for the grace to follow the example of his godly life. It is awkward and tension filled, but it is holy and good. I guess that's what Church is.