Taste and See: All at One

St Peter's SqUARE

The Psalm at Mass yesterday, chosen to engage us afresh with the faith of Jesus, whose prayer and self-offering (sacrifice) we participate in at Mass, had the assured and confident response: ‘The Lord upholds my life’.

The response is a pithy re-statement of one aspect of salvation. That the Lord upholds me. The other, necessary, part is ‘The Lord upholds your life, and theirs’. A key purpose, perhaps the key purpose, of the Church is to allow ‘us’ to witness to ‘them’ of the love we know God has for us all.

We ourselves struggle, sometimes, to lay hold of our faith that it may be real in the particular and oft-times challenging circumstances of our lives. But we know faith is the bed-rock of a good life, a life lived in communion with God and neighbour.

The task of the Church is not to hold that communion to herself but to ensure that all others know of their invitation to enter, as equal, beloved, members.

The Lord upholds my life.

O God, save me by your name;
by your power, uphold my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth.

The Lord upholds my life.

For proud men have risen against me,
ruthless men seek my life.
They have no regard for God.

The Lord upholds my life.

But I have God for my help.
The Lord upholds my life.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart
and praise your name for it is good.

The Lord upholds my life.

Psalm 53:3-6,8

Yesterday was Home Mission Sunday and the Church in England and Wales received a joint Pastoral Letter from all her Bishops. The letter can be read here.

  • What struck you about the letter? What was encouraging and hopeful? What asked more of us than maybe at first we felt ready to say ‘yes’ to.
  • How do you feel about those things now?
  • How might you respond to the Bishops’ invitation. And who will you work with in this?

It is often said that Bernini designed the colonnades of St Peter’s Square to be as arms embracing the pilgrims coming to the church containing the tomb of Peter. Here all find a welcome, here we are in our home from home.

St Peter’s Square. (c) 2013, Allen Morris. 

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