Speak Lord: Saving Lord

Jesus made the crowds welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing.

It was late afternoon when the Twelve came to him and said, ‘Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms round about to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here.’ He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ But they said, ‘We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food for all these people.’ For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, ‘Get them to sit down in parties of about fifty.’ They did so and made them all sit down.

Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd. They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps remaining were collected they filled twelve baskets.

Gospel for Corpus Christi
Luke 9:11-17

It is a long way from the Galilean hillside, through the Upper Room and Jerusalem, to the Mass and Eucharist, to devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Solemnity we celebrate this Sunday.

What all have in common is the love and mercy of God made known in the generosity and care of Jesus Christ.

Still he feeds us with his very life, still we are enabled to let that life take fresh root and come to expression in us.

Devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. L’Abbaye St-Pierre, Moissac, France. (c) 2018, Allen Morris


Taste and See: Costly love

Blest be God the Father,
and the Only Begotten Son of God,
and also the Holy Spirit,
for he has shown us his merciful love.

Entrance Antiphon for Trinity Sunday

Trinity is made known to us in the active love of God for us. God active in creation, in sustaining creation, and in bringing creation to completion and fulfilment.

The holiness of God is manifest in his goodness, mercy, and active care.

All we need do, now, is cooperate and play our part…

Throne of Grace. Hermitage, St Petersburg. Photograph (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: The profundity of God’s being

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.

For with your Only Begotten Son and the Holy Spirit
you are one God, one Lord:
not in the unity of a single person,
but in a Trinity of one substance.

For what you have revealed to us of your glory
we believe equally of your Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
so that, in the confessing of the true and eternal Godhead,
you might be adored in what is proper to each Person,
their unity in substance,
and their equality in majesty.

For this is praised by Angels and Archangels,
Cherubim, too, and Seraphim,
who never cease to cry out each day,
as with one voice they acclaim:

Preface for Trinity Sunday

Contemplation of the mystery of God – the love, power and richness of God – reminds us of the dimensions of adoration, glorification and praise that are to the fore in our worship. To adore, glorify and praise are modes of performance of prayer that take us out and beyond ourselves: they have something of the ecstatic about them.

  • Sometimes our worship can feel more mechanical than ecstatic. Why might that be?
  • How might we help each other better to mean and live what we say and sing in our prayer

Throne of Grace. Musee du Petit Palais, Avignon. Photograph (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: Three and One

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me, since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said: “All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.”’

The feast of the Trinity reminds us each year both that God is a wonder and transcendent, and that talking about God – in God’s unity and tri-unity – is a problem.

  • What does the threeness of God add to your appreciation of God?
  • What does the unity, the one-ness, of God mean to you?

Stained glass, Lichfield Cathedral. Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: In all and to all

The Wisdom of God cries aloud:
‘The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded,
before the oldest of his works.
From everlasting I was firmly set,
from the beginning, before earth came into being.
The deep was not, when I was born,
there were no springs to gush with water.
Before the mountains were settled,
before the hills, I came to birth;
before he made the earth, the countryside,
or the first grains of the world’s dust.
When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there,
when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
when he thickened the clouds above,
when he fixed fast the springs of the deep,
when he assigned the sea its boundaries
– and the waters will not invade the shore –
when he laid down the foundations of the earth,
I was by his side, a master craftsman,
delighting him day after day,
ever at play in his presence,
at play everywhere in his world,
delighting to be with the sons of men.’

First reading for Trinity Sunday
Proverbs 8:22-31

There is no thing, and no where, which is not consequence of God’s creative act. There is no thing, and no where, that is not in some sense a participation in God’s grace.

All is created, all is sustained, and all is destined for glory in God’s Wisdom – and it is our privilege to know this and be formed by this…. …and to share the knowledge with others

Throne of Grace. Diocesan museum, Kracow, Poland. Photograph (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: The wonder of it…

When I see the heavens, the work of your hands,
the moon and the stars which you arranged,
what is man that you should keep him in mind,
mortal man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him little less than a god;
with glory and honour you crowned him,
gave him power over the works of your hand,
put all things under his feet.

All of them, sheep and cattle,
yes, even the savage beasts,
birds of the air, and fish
that make their way through the waters.

Psalm for Trinity Sunday
Psalm 8:4-9

The Creator God has care for human beings: even – in the Incarnation – choosing to share in our experience of life and death.

Contemplating this extraordinary truth helps awaken us to the glory of God and the potential that is in us to also live and share that glory…

Stained Glass, St-Germain-des-pres. Photograph (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: of costly love

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith we are judged righteous and at peace with God, since it is by faith and through Jesus that we have entered this state of grace in which we can boast about looking forward to God’s glory. But that is not all we can boast about; we can boast about our sufferings. These sufferings bring patience, as we know, and patience brings perseverance, and perseverance brings hope, and this hope is not deceptive, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given us.

2nd Reading for Mass for Trinity Sunday
Romans 5:1-5

Throne of Grace. Musee d’Acquitane, Bordeaux, France.. Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Three in One and all for us…

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘I still have many things to say to you
but they would be too much for you now.
But when the Spirit of truth comes
he will lead you to the complete truth,
since he will not be speaking as from himself
but will say only what he has learnt;
and he will tell you of the things to come.
He will glorify me, since all he tells you
will be taken from what is mine.
Everything the Father has is mine;
that is why I said: “All he tells you will be taken from what is mine.”’

Gospel for Mass: Trinity Sunday
John 16:12-15

The Holy Trinity is united in mutual love and support – and that love and support is now extended to us.

Thank God!

And now it is our turn…

Stained glass. Couvent des Jacobins, Toulouse. Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: A world made new

Send forth your spirit, O Lord, 
and renew the face of the earth.

Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
How many are your works, O Lord!
The earth is full of your riches.

You take back your spirit, they die,
returning to the dust from which they came.
You send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the Lord last for ever!
May the Lord rejoice in his works!
May my thoughts be pleasing to him.
I find my joy in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm for Pentecost: Mass during the Day
Psalm 103(104):1,24,29-31,34

Too often our faith is about me and God. But it needs also, always to be about us and God.

Pope Benedict observed that we, of course, receive the extraordinary gift of communion with Christ. But this union is not exclusive.

Union with Christ is also union with all those to whom he gives himself. I cannot possess Christ just for myself; I can belong to him only in union with all those who have become, or who will become, his own.

Sacramentum Caritatis 89

The union to which we are invited is for all people. If we are not up for that, then we are not up for union with God.

The renewal of humanity, the restoration of our original unity – before Babel and all – is to be accompanied also with a renewal of the covenant with the natural, material world also. The point is made fully in Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’ which speaks of a common home for an undivided people.

“LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs”.

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.

Laudato si’ 1, 2

  • What steps have you taken to help you grow closer to other people? What next? Who do you need to know better?
  • What steps have you taken to live more carefully with respect to the environment? What comes next?

Come Holy Spirit, help us to be one with God, neighbour and our world.

St Francis. Louvre, Paris. Photograph (c) 2017, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: God at work

O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers.
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 Pentecost: Mass during the Day

The work is the Lord’s – the first sanctification of the Church and the sustaining of the Church in holiness.

But we too have our work – of cooperating with grace, not least in sharing it with others in our turn.

Stained glass. Couvent des Jacobins, Toulouse. Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris.