Taste and See: Change ahead!

IMG_3180 Capernaum 2013

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

Gospel for Sunday of the 3rd week on Ordinary Time
Mark 1:14-20

Responding to the call of Jesus to follow him, allowing him to lead them in their turn to be truly fishers of men, made a most radical change to the lives of Jesus’ disciples.

The horizon of their life shifted radically. They moved from boats and the lake to a profound engagement with all sorts of peoples in all sorts of communities, across all strata of society, and beyond their nation and homeland. They found themsleves having to consider and respond faithfully to so many circumstances and situations.

Our discipleship may well be less dramatic, less exceptional in its development and how we live it out – so far! Yet we are called from the ordinary and worldly, and invited to enter into the very kingdom of God. There is surely change required by that move, if we are to allow ourselves to be enlivened by the Good News.

  • Where are you aware of change and development beckoning as you seek to follow Christ?

Architectural detail from Church of St Peter, Capernaum, Galilee. (c) 2013, Allen Morris

 

Taste and See: Learn what lasts…

Rome Easter 2005 165a

Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Second reading for Sunday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 7:29-31

St Paul writes with an intense awareness that so many of the things which matter so much and seem so fixed and permanent part of our lives are in fact passing. They have their importance and often an abiding significance but they are not of themselves the sure foundation for our lives.

God alone provides such a foundation. In him all other things find their place, and from him we find their true value.

View across the Roman Forum. (c) 2005, Allen Morris

 

Speak Lord: even when we fall short…

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The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’ Jonah set out and went to Nineveh in obedience to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was a city great beyond compare: it took three days to cross it. Jonah went on into the city, making a day’s journey. He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.’ And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.

God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour. And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

First reading for Sunday of the 3rd week in Ordinary Time
Jonah 3:1-5,10

The irony,  of course, is that Jonah hates the Ninevites and longs for God to smite them, not for them to repent and turn to God for goodness and mercy.

But God is able to use even the most unwilling and disgruntled to fulfill his will, despite themselves! And maybe, in time, even the disgruntled might rejoice in this!

Detail of North Doors, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.

 

Speak Lord: guide us, lead us

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Lord, make me know your ways.

Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour.

Lord, make me know your ways.

Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
In your love remember me.
because of your goodness, O Lord.

Lord, make me know your ways.

The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
He guides the humble in the right path,
He teaches his way to the poor.

Lord, make me know your ways.

Responsorial Psalm for Sunday of 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
Psalm 24:4-6,7-9

The ways of the Lord, as Scripture shows, are many and various. Sometimes he calls through the narrow gate, sometimes the only way God seems to be able to attract our attention is by giving time on primrose paths of dalliance.

But surely and always he calls us to himself.

Birmingham City Centre. (c) 2016, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: save us from dying before our time

Aix 4 055 Cezanne.jpg

Brothers: our time is growing short. Those who have wives should live as though they had none, and those who mourn should live as though they had nothing to mourn for; those who are enjoying life should live as though there were nothing to laugh about; those whose life is buying things should live as though they had nothing of their own; and those who have to deal with the world should not become engrossed in it. I say this because the world as we know it is passing away.

Second reading for Sunday of the the third week in Ordinary Time
1 Corinthians 7:29-31

The momento mori is less common now than previously. However we are most everywhere surrounded by signs of fanciful life that leads us from truth to lies and deceir.

Play a mind game, look at a few adverts on TV or on the billboards, identify the lie and then resolve to live more truthfully, faithfully and freely.

Cezanne’s Studio. Aix en Provence,. (c) 2006, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Unite us with yourself.

DSC03397a Nazareth.jpg

After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’

As he was walking along by the Sea of Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the lake – for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you into fishers of men.’ And at once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on a little further, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they too were in their boat, mending their nets. He called them at once and, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the men he employed, they went after him.

Gospel for the Sunday of the 3rd week in Ordinary Time
Mark 1:14-20

The gift of the Good News and the call to share in the work of sharing that Good News are like horse and carriage. As Mark tells the story, there is barely a moment between receiving Jesus and his message and joining him in his work.

Detail from West Door, Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

 

Taste and See: Peace gifted

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Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Collect for Sunday of Second week in Ordinary Time

Peace has so many different dimensions.

For Christians Peace is above all a gift of God. It is part of the original blessing, goodness, that God instilled and recognised in Creation. It is something fractured in sin and isolation. It is something that begins to be restored in Jesus Christ, again as gift.

  • Where is it lacking in our world?
  • In what dimensions of your own life is it missing?
  • What does the gift, person, and teaching of Jesus suggest about our recovery of peace?

Detail of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, Washington Mall. (c) 2007 ,Allen Morris