A new start…

Living Eucharist was launched in May 2014 and since then there have been over 1987 pages blogged.

Over recent months, it has seemed to me that it was time for a revamp, to look again at how the blog might better help resource our preparation for Sunday Eucharist, and in the days that follow help us to continue to find nourishment there…

From Advent 2019, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, in conjunction with the Bible Society, is sponsoring ‘A Year of the Word’, under the title of The God Who Speaks. The aim is to encourage a deeper Scriptural engagement through

  1. a celebration of God’s word in worship and prayer;
  2. living God’s word in our social action and outreach;
  3. sharing God’s word in our formation, proclamation and evangelisation.

The hope is that the revamped Living Eucharist Blog can help its readers to engage with each of those objectives!

Another way of presenting the Lectionary Readings

Over the past 5 years this blog has very largely focussed on Scripture, presenting and representing the readings from the Sunday Lectionary.

But the Lectionary is not the Bible, and sometimes the Lectionary readings are not so easy to comprehend out of their original context.

So when the Blog is relaunched for the first Sunday of Advent although the Lectionary readings will be featured, the blog will give the immediate context of each reading too. For example – in the case of the Old Testament readings – giving the longer narrative (or as much as seems manageable) from which the reading comes; and – in the case of the semi-continuous readings from the Epistles and Gospels – giving the verses that are missed from a passage, and/or the verse that link one week’s reading to the next.

Connecting with life and work

Not quite sure how this will work, but on Sundays you can expect to see some link between the Sunday’s Gospel and the life of the Church, and of the communities that she lives within and is called to serve.

Sharing God’s word

This remit may be fulfilled in various ways – but expect to see how artists and musicians have connected with the readings of the week. and to be encouraged to seek after other ways in which we can be helped to dwell in God’s word; to dialogue with it; and to share it with the world.

Those are the plans, anyway…
Let’s pray they come to fruition
and in turn prove fruitful…

Image: Wordle of the ‘Introduction to the Lectionary

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Taste and See: Now, us…

I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.

Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2nd reading for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

  • What gift(s) have you received from in Jesus Christ?
  • How do you use them?
  • How might you use them still better?
  • Why might the Lord have given you these gifts, and perhaps withheld others?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Painting by Henri Martin, Toulouse.

Taste and See: A hard grind?

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 17:5-10

Sometimes life, including the life lived in faith, is experienced as sheer slog. And then when you get to the end of the present work or task there is just more of the same…

Our experience and the greaeter reality are not always the same.

Always we are surrounded by love, supported by love and care. Always.

But often we don’t experience that, at a particular time. The reason for that may be ours – disgruntled, we just listen to our own moans and groans; or maybe we just don’t know this greater truth. And sometimes it is possible we are being tested, being helped to mature, to learn to do the right things for the best reasons and not for instant gratification. When we don’t experience the love that is for all things, and in all things, that can make things hard.

But love helps us find the way… brings us through…

The demonstration of that, the proof of that, we find in Jesus Christ – in his faithfulness in mission even to death, and in the glory of the Resurrection.

  • When did the clouds last lift for you? Why?
  • What helps you keep on when they show no sign of lifting?
  • And what if you cannot ‘keep on? What then?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Van Gogh. Digging. Barber Instotiute, Birmingham.

Speak Lord: Help us to patience and to hope

‘How long, O Lord, am I to cry for help while you will not listen; to cry ‘Oppression!’ in your ear and you will not save? Why do you set injustice before me, why do you look on where there is tyranny? Outrage and violence, this is all I see, all is contention, and discord flourishes.’

Then the Lord answered and said, ‘Write the vision down, inscribe it on tablets to be easily read, since this vision is for its own time only: eager for its own fulfilment, it does not deceive; if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail. See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.’

First reading for the 27th Sunday
Habakkuk 1:2-3,2:2-4

The Lord answers, and helps us to live his answer. The lordship of God begins in us, and starts to change the world…

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Exhibition of Soviet Realist Art, Tate Modern, London.

Speak Lord: Work your work

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

Responsorial Psalm for 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 94(95):1-2,6-9

The Lord works for us, and we work in response…

His work is to set us free and help us to live lovingly. His work seems never-ending, and our needs inexhaustible!

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Detail of West Door entrance, Basilica of St Denis, Paris.

Speak Lord: Draw us on

I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.

Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2nd reading for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

It is not our task to stand passively by.

Through the Sacraments God lives in us and we in God. The Spirit, and the Spirit’s gifts, are shared with us that we may strive for faithfulness, with confidence we will not strive in vain. Even when we seem to fail, our striving witnesses to the virtue of God’s ways…

Photograph (c) 2019, Allen Morris. Trades Union Banner – Cardinal Manning Lodge. People’s Museum, Manchester.

Speak Lord: Help us to serve…

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 17:5-10

Work takes many forms – but it the way in which we fulfil our potential. Doing is our way into truly ‘being’.

Our master, God the divine Being, is – we are in process and are becoming. It is our task and duty, and also our privilege …

  • Where do you see your tasks lying?
  • What challenges do you presently face in fulfilling them?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Architectural feature. Toulouse.