Taste and See: Newness

Receive the joy of your glory, giving thanks to God,
who has called you into the heavenly kingdom, alleluia.

Alternative Entrance Antiphon for the 2nd Sunday of Easter
4 Esdras 2: 36-37

Thomas was moved from despair and disappointment to deep joy; from an experience of abandonment to a new sense of purpose and direction.

  • Have you had a similar experience?
  • What helps you sustain it?
  • What threatens it?

Stained glass. St James the Less, Victoria, London. (c) 2019, Allen Morris

Advertisements

Taste and See: Faith alive

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Let the sons of Israel say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Responsorial Psalm for 2nd Sunday of Easter
Psalm 117(118):2-4,22-27

Our alleluia and our professions of faith can be just tribal trumpeting, or they can be expressions of knowledge hard-won. They can be expressions of who we are, or they can bear testimony of our personal relationship with Him, with Jesus risen from the dead.

  • From where comes your personal conviction?
  • When has it been tested?
  • Where does your relationship with the Lord most express itself in your live among others?

St Nicholas Chapel, Kings Lynn. (c) 2016, Allen Morris

Taste and See: New Life

In the evening of that same day, the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, ‘Peace be with you’, and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you.

‘As the Father sent me,
so am I sending you.’

After saying this he breathed on them and said:

‘Receive the Holy Spirit.
For those whose sins you forgive,
they are forgiven;
for those whose sins you retain,
they are retained.’

Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord’, he answered, ‘Unless I see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.’ Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. ‘Peace be with you’ he said. Then he spoke to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Doubt no longer but believe.’ Thomas replied, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him:

‘You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.’

There were many other signs that Jesus worked and the disciples saw, but they are not recorded in this book. These are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through his name.

Gospel for 2nd Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31

Thomas is angry, broken-hearted, devestated: he will not countenance risking getting things wrong again and being hurt again. ‘I refuse to believe…’

But how tender is his heart when it is touched by the love of the Lord – no recrimination, no bitterness, no anger – just love, just faith.

How often by contrast others – perhaps we ourselves? – harbour resentment and hurt and let it poison us, reducing us to sullen passivitiy. How often we resist the opportunity to return to life and love and faith.

  • St Thomas, pray for us.

incredulity of Thomas: Salviati. Collection of the Louvre, Paris, Lourdes. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Help us on

The faithful all used to meet by common consent in the Portico of Solomon. No one else ever dared to join them, but the people were loud in their praise and the numbers of men and women who came to believe in the Lord increased steadily.

So many signs and wonders were worked among the people at the hands of the apostles that the sick were even taken out into the streets and laid on beds and sleeping-mats in the hope that at least the shadow of Peter might fall across some of them as he went past. People even came crowding in from the towns round about Jerusalem, bringing with them their sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and all of them were cured.

First reading for 2nd Sunday of Easter
Acts 5:12-16

The people are at one and the same time afraid and doubting, and hopeful and trusting and choosing the Lord.

Plus ca change

  • What helps you step out of your fears and towards faith and trust?
  • What holds you back?
  • What afflicts or assists others in this respect?

St Thomas. Magdala, Israel. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: With us

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, for his love has no end.
or
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Let the sons of Israel say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let the sons of Aaron say:
‘His love has no end.’
Let those who fear the Lord say:
‘His love has no end.’

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the corner stone.
This is the work of the Lord,
a marvel in our eyes.
This day was made by the Lord;
we rejoice and are glad.

O Lord, grant us salvation;
O Lord, grant success.
Blessed in the name of the Lord
is he who comes.
We bless you from the house of the Lord;
the Lord God is our light.

Responsorial Psalm for 2nd Sunday of Easter
Psalm 117(118):2-4,22-27

Death, despair, doubt. None of these things can separate the Lord from his disciples, or they from him…

Jesus and the 11. Silos. Plaster Cast in the colleciton of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (c) 20117, Allen Morris

Together…

UK Christian and Muslim development agencies issued a joint statement yesterday:

We are shocked and saddened by the attacks on innocent civilians which occurred on Easter Sunday. Our profound condolences go out to the people of Sri Lanka and the friends and families of the victims, both national and foreign. It is appalling that acts of violence should be perpetrated on one of the most important days in the Christian calendar, targeting both Christians celebrating Easter and tourists visiting Sri Lanka.

As people of faith and faith-based organisations, we must continue to stand together so that communities can practice their faith without fear. We will be working together to offer support to those most affected. We will not allow hatred to divide us, and we are determined to focus on our common agenda of alleviating the poverty and suffering that afflict all communities.

As faith-based development and humanitarian organisations, it is our job to help save lives, help people live to their full potential and to work with people of all faiths and none. We unequivocally condemn terrorism and we abhor acts of violence against civilians. Our Christian and Islamic faiths are based on peace, love and harmony. We are praying for those affected by this terrible tragedy.

Christine Allen, Director of CAFOD

Amanda Mukwashi, CEO of Christian Aid

Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide

Tufail Hussain, interim Director of Islamic Relief UK

Jehangir Malik OBE, CEO of Muslim Aid

Speak Lord: The first and the last…

My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus; it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet, ‘Write down all that you see in a book.’ I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man, dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle.

When I saw him, I fell in a dead faint at his feet, but he touched me with his right hand and said, ‘Do not be afraid; it is I, the First and the Last; I am the Living One, I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld. Now write down all that you see of present happenings and things that are still to come.’

Second reading for Second Sunday of Easter
Apocalypse 1:9-13,17-19

Our accounts of the Resurrection – like the very fact of the Incarnation itself – give expression in earthly and familiar forms to the ineffable and incomprehenisble. And sometimes we lose sight of that extraordinariness.

Not so in the book of the Apocalypse which revels in the mythic and the mind-streching images of the vision of John to engage with the meaning of the risen and ascended Lord and our participation in him.

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