This Sunday’s Music: XV Sunday of Ordinary Time

Last week, we were empowered by that wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to bring His Good News into the world. We are filled with the peace and joy that we receive through our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross. This week, we are again admonished about our call to love our neighbour. How will we bring this out this week with our music?

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We begin today’s Eucharistic celebration with a thundering classic hymn by hymnodist Samuel J. Stone and and composer Samuel Sebastian Wesley. The story behind The Church’s One Foundation is an interesting read (click here to learn more), but more interesting is how it applies to us today. Well, look no further than the entirety of our Second Reading… but we’ll be nice and excerpt it:

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18)


Interestingly enough still, there are two options for this week’s Psalm. Ultimately , we chose the more familiar to us (Psalm 19), and it is no less applicable to today’s message than the other option (Psalm 69). With an antiphon derived from John 6:63c — “antiphon” is, for simplicity’s sake, a historical term for “refrain” —, Psalm 19 is directly related to both our First Reading from Deuteronomy 30 and our Gospel Reading from Luke 10. We are to seek the Lord, who speaks to us of His truth: “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalms 19:8). Yes, the words of the Lord “are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63c).


Today, we hear in the Gospel the famous parable about the Good Samaritan, whose mercy toward a stranger is iconic of our Christian mission. Just as the Lord shows us mercy day by day, so must we act unto our neighbours. In this song by Israel Houghton, which has quickly become a standard in the gospel repertoire around the world, we sing:

Lord, You are good, and Your mercy endureth forever.
People from every nation and tongue,
From generation to generation,
We worship You. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
We worship You for who You are.
You are good all the time.
All the time You are good.

Jesus “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15), and it is in His example, His image, that we are to act with mercy unto all. It all begins with hearing and meditating upon the lesson of our good and merciful Lord. Let us worship Him for who He is, for He is good all the time.

i need thee every hour

With lyrics by Annie S. Hawkes and music by Robert Lowry, I Need Thee Every Hour is a classic old-school hymn that we sing today in response to the preface to the parable in today’s Gospel reading:

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted [Jesus], saying, Master what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And He said unto him, Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-27)

As we sang in Psalm 19, the words of the Lord are “spirit and life”. If we but seek the Lord, we will live. We need the Lord, and He is ever near us. We need Him every hour. Let us use this hymn today as a meditation on His goodness in our lives.


Ssshhhhh… today’s Jamaal’s birthday, and this may or may not be one of his favourite songs in our repertoire. So, sing it loud and proud, SFDS! Just to drive home our Second Reading, we hear from St. Paul: “And He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). He is the beginning and the end, present in all time. He is the Alpha and the Omega, and we worship Him, our Lord, for He is worthy to be praised.

we are called

We have focused significantly on our Second Reading and our Gospel today, and while they have a strong influence on this choice of a recessional hymn, it is truly those two in light of the First Reading that we sing this, probably one of the most iconic songs of David Haas. We read in Deuteronomy 30:

It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deuteronomy 30:12-14)

If we “hearken unto the voice of the Lord”, which “is not hidden from thee, nor is it far off”, but yet present in His Holy Word, we can be like the Good Samaritan. Yes, we are called to “act with justice”, to “love tenderly”, to “serve one another” and to “walk humbly with God”, and let us look no further than the model of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Church instructs us week after week in the tenets of our Christian living. In the words of our Saviour, “Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37c).