Speak Lord: Intercessor and Saviour

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Second reading for the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, Good Friday
Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9

St John tells the story of the Passion and Death and the Resurrection as a story where Jesus is entirely in control. Other people do wicked and cruel things to him, but only because he allows it (just look at the account of the ‘arrest’ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and how, in John’s account, Jesus has no need of a Simon of Cyrene.)

All of the Evangelists tell of the Passion as Saving Mystery, as – principally -what God does in response to the evil of man; but John especially puts the emphasis on the glory of what Jesus achieves, as he fulfils all that the Father would have him do. His hour has come.

Carving. Louvre, Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Advertisements

Speak Lord: Servant to the servants…

The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.


Responsorial Psalm for Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Thursday
Psalm 115(116):12-13,15-18

The Lord makes himself food and drink for us, that we may live in him and he in us.

  • For whom do we give ourselves? And why?
  • What can we learn about the Lord from those experiences in our own lives?

Chalice. Treasury, Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Broken and healing

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

My vindicator is here at hand.

Does anyone start proceedings against me?
Then let us go to court together.
Who thinks he has a case against me?
Let him approach me.

The Lord is coming to my help,
who will dare to condemn me?

First reading for the Wednesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 50:4-9

The Lord endured suffering and endured it for our sake.

For our sake he overcame suffering, to free us from our agonies and sins.

Carving. Collection of the Barber Institute, Birmingham. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Generous witness…

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.

Responsorial Psalm for the Tuesday of Holy Week
Psalm 70(71):1-6,15,17

The Lord Jesus speaks of the faithfulness of his Father, and of his love and mercy.

He is never silent – but speaks in words and works even yet.

Carving, Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: loving Lord…

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.

He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.

Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
he who created the heavens and spread them out,
who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
who gave breath to its people
and life to the creatures that move in it:

‘I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.’

First reading for the Mass of the Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-7

God loves the one who loves us, and serves us.

We do well to seek to love him in return – for that way will we learn love and learn to live by with and from love.

Carving, Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Saving Lord.

During Holy Week,
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday,
Living Eucharist will feature a reading to help with preparation
forparticipation in the celebration of the Liturgy of that day.

Preface for Palm Sunday: The Passion of the Lord

V.   The Lord be with you.
R.    And with your spirit.

V.   Lift up your hearts.
R.   We lift them up to the Lord.

V.   Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R.   It is right and just.

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.

For though innocent he sufferedwillingly for sinners
and accepted unjust condemnation to save the guilty.

His Death has washed away our sins,
and his Resurrection has purchased our justification.

And so, with all the Angels,
we praise you, as in joyful celebration we, too, acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts . . .

The Liturgies of Holy Week can seem, more than usual, to be liturgies which are a remembrance of times past. They of course do help us remember the events of the last week of Jesus’ life but they are also much more than this.

They also

  • re-present his saving person and those saving events so that he and they are present to us still – and we to him and them.
  • draw us into the experience of God’s saving love here and now to heal our flawed and fractured lives.
  • anticipate the final victory of God’s love when, please God, we will be entirely united with him and for ever.

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse!

The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.

His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.

And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron.

He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:11-14

Copy of fresco of Christ on a white horse (Cathédrale Saint Etienne, Auxerre) in the collection of Cité de l’Architecture & du Patrimoine, Paris. (c) 2011, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Faithful One

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

First reading for Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-7

The ‘Suffering servant’ of Isaiah prefigures the Christ.

Both are single-minded in their service of the people. Both are of one heart in their obedience to the Lord.

  • What occupies your mind?
  • What directs your heart?

Detail from Sarcophagus Altar, St Trophime, Arles. (c) 2014, Allen Morris