Responding to the Mass of Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

Jesus was a refugee. A collaborating puppet king orders baby boys to be slaughtered to protect his crumbling powerbase: it’s the ‘nasty’ part of the Christmas story that’s often airbrushed from nativity plays. However, we must never forget that Jesus and his parents fled to Egypt to escape the persecution of King Herod. It was a matter of life or death: the only way to ensure that Jesus survived.

The world may have changed since then but persecution remains.  The UNHCR states there are 25.9 million refugees around the globe.  All have made that horrendous decision to leave behind everything that is familiar in order to find sanctuary.

A small percentage seek sanctuary in the UK either through the asylum application process or through the Government’s resettlement scheme for Syrian refugees.  We could ask the question, “If Jesus and his family lived in 2019 and claimed asylum in the UK, would they be granted refugee status by the Home Office?”

Jesus, who was a refugee, calls us to welcome the stranger and encourages us to bind up the broken hearted and free the oppressed. 

For Birmingham Churches Together, that is where Restore comes in…..

Restore’s vision is for a society into which all refugees and asylum seekers are welcomed, valued and integrated.Restore works towards that vision becoming reality by:

  • Building relationships and equipping for integration through befriending, group social activities and employability training.
  • Motivating for action through raising awareness of refugee issues and opportunities to make a difference
  • Working for change through partnering and campaigning with others to improve systems and services that affect refugees and asylum seekers.

Restore recognises the need to work at the micro-level supporting individual asylum seekers and refugees but also the need for change at the macro level in how host communities and Government respond.

What difference does Restore make?

Recently, a refugee popped into the Restore office to update us on his situation.  Two years ago, he’d joined Restore as a newly arrived and isolated asylum seeker.  He spent a year meeting others and learning about Birmingham through Restore’s men’s social activities and commented that he now takes new people to those same places.

He was linked to one of Restore’s team of over 100 volunteer befrienders, who offered regular support and encouragement.  This was particularly important when his asylum application was refused as he was shocked by that decision and spent the next few months struggling with depression and anxiety.The consistent emotional support of the befriender was vital as the asylum seeker waited anxiously for his asylum appeal.

That appeal was successful so with his newly granted refugee status he was keen to rebuild his life. His befriender helped him explore new possibilities. He applied for and was granted a scholarship to embark on a Master’s degree.

Having just graduated, he is now optimistic about finding employment. Just one example of the difference Restore’s work makes!

See more of Restore’s work – and how you can support the work – on their website or on a short video

Please pray for the resources for and impact of Restore’s work.

Please pray about how you can partner with Restore to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers in our city will be welcomed, valued and integrated.

With best wishes for a joyful
and peaceful Christmas

Most Revd Bernard Longley
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham

Rt Revd David Urquhart
Church of England Birmingham of Birmingham

Rev Ian Howarth
Free Churches Moderator & Chair of Birmingham Methodist District
 
The Presidents of Birmingham Churches Together

Photograph (c) 2015, Allen Morris. Family. Henry Moore, Tate Britain.

Responding to the Mass of Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

L’Enfance du Christ, a choral work by Hector Berlioz, , explores events in the Infancy Narratives related by Matthew. It takes us from the persecution by Herod, through the flight into Egypt and the Holy Family’s sojourn there.

A full account of the work and its theology is available in a booklet put on line by Chandos.

Probably the most famous section of the work is ‘The farewell of the Shepherds‘ which beautifully, simply, and even somewhat playfully, draws us into contemplation of the beauty of Christ and evokes a trust in his goodness.

The last of the three sections of the work sees the life of Jesus and his family put in jeopardy by the event of their exile and rejection by Egyptians. Yet they find safety through the hospitality of an Ishmaelite – (the line from which Muslims claim a spiritual descent).

A restful hour or so listening to the piece gives an opportunity to listen to some haunting music, and to ponder both the challenges and graces of life in this world.

Photograph (c) 2007, Allen Morris. Fresco in Church of Shepherd’s Fields, Bethlehem.

Preparing for Mass on Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

We read Scripture not so much to learn about other people, back then, and over there, but to learn how better to be ourselves, here, now.

We read Scripture not as professional scholars narrowly focussed on the text but as people who listen for the voice of the living God. This is not to diminish the role of professional scholars, those technicians of text can serve our understanding of scripture and faith and religion in so many ways, but the distinction is made to highlight what is most central about the role of scripture for the lives of the faithful.

Through these inspired writings the living Lord speaks directly to us – heart to heart – although admittedly the living Lord makes this direct and personal connection with us on the slant, through the prism of song and narrative and all the rest. And he speaks to lead us to a safer better place – with him and with each other. He speaks to make a difference – and we are called to listen ready for that difference to be made, in us and by us.

The first reading this Sunday comes from what scholars call the Deuterocanonical books, – books that are not, now, in the Bible of the Jewish people, but were books in the Bible of Greek speaking Jews (and Christians) before the destruction of the Temple and the events that followed.

First reading: Ecclesiasticus 3:3-7,14-17

(NB the text in bold and in the ‘quote sections’ is what we hear on Sunday, the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

Children, listen to me your father,
do what I tell you, and so be safe;
for the Lord honours the rights of father in his children
and upholds the rights of a mother over, her sons.

Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.

He serves his parents as he does his Lord.
Respect your father in deed as well as word,
so that blessing may come on you from him;
since a father’s blessing makes the houses of his children firm,
while a mother’s curse tears up their foundations.
Do not make a boast of disgrace overtaking your father,
your father’s disgrace reflects no honour on you;
for a man’s honour derives from the respect shown to his father,
and a mother held in dishonour is a reproach to her children.

My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve reparation for your sins.


In the days of affliction it will be remembered of you,
like frost in sunshine, your sins will melt away.
The man who deserts his father is no better than a blasphemer,
and whoever angers his mother is accursed of the Lord.

My son, be gentle in carrying out your business,
and you will be better loved than a lavish giver.
The greater you are, the more you should behave humbly,
and then you will find favour with the Lord;
for great though the power of the Lord is,
he accepts the homage of the humble.

Do not try to understand things that are too difficult for you,
or try to discover what is beyond your powers.
Concentrate on what has been assigned you,
you have no need to worry over mysteries.

Do not meddle with things that are beyond you;
what you have been taught already exceeds the scope of the human mind.
For many have been misled by their own presumption
and wrong-headed opinions have warped their ideas.

A stubborn heart will come to a bad end at last,
and whoever loves danger will perish in it.
A stubborn heart is weighed down with troubles,
There is no cure for the proud man’s malady,
Since an evil growth has taken root in him.
The heart of a sensible man will reflect on parables,
an attentive ear is the sage’s dream.

He who fears the Lord respects his parents
The Lord honours the father in his children,
and upholds the rights of a mother over her sons.
Whoever respects his father is atoning for his sins,
he who honours his mother is like someone amassing a fortune.
Whoever respects his father will be happy with children of his own,
he shall be heard on the day when he prays.
Long life comes to him who honours his father,
he who sets his mother at ease is showing obedience to the Lord.
My son, support your father in his old age,
do not grieve him during his life.
Even if his mind should fail, show him sympathy,
do not despise him in your health and strength;
for kindness to a father shall not be forgotten
but will serve as reparation for your sins.

Acknowledgements

  • Photo (c) 2017, Allen Morris. The death of St Joseph. Notre Dame de Versailles, Versailles, France.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Scripture  readings  from  the  Jerusalem  Bible  are  published  and  copyright  ©  1966,  1967  and  1968  by  Darton,  Longman  &  Todd,  Ltd

Preparing for Mass on Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

The editor of the Lectionary omits just one line from this psalm, and what a petty and unnecessary omission it is.

In the midst of a season when the Church rejoices in the fulfilment of God’s promises to his people, in the coming of Israel’s Messiah the reference to Israel is omitted.

Omitted because of the potential confusion between the now nation state of Israel and the ancient people? One wonders – but at this time let us all be sure to pray for peace for Israel… and Palestine… and Syria… and Egypt… and Jordan… and for the whole world.

God is faithful to his covenant with his uniquely chosen people, and to his covenant with all of humankind. What he gives, let us not diminish.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 127(128):1-5

(NB the text in bold and in the ‘quote sections’ is what we hear on Sunday, the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

Psalm 128 (127)

1     A Song of Ascents.

      Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
      and walk in his ways!
2     By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
      You will be blessed and prospe
r.

3     Your wife like a fruitful vine
      in the heart of your house;
      your children like shoots of the olive
      around your table.
4     Indeed thus shall be blessed
      the man who fears the Lord.

5     May the Lord bless you from Sion.
      May you see Jerusalem prosper
      all the days of your life!
6     May you see your children’s children.

      On Israel, peace!

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Psalms: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Photo (c) 2013, Allen Morris. Puppets Schindler Factory Museum, Crqacow, Poland.

Preparing for Mass on Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

it is sometimes said that more people contact Solicitors to begin divorce proceedings after the Christmas holidays than at any other time of the year: the enforced and extended proximity to spouses is not always easy to deal with, and sometimes profoundly disturbing.

As you read the passage below from Colossians, pray for families and individuals that you know and especially those who face tensions and stress.

The Letter emphasises the quality of life that we should attempt, precisely because we have been joined with Christ in baptism, and seek to live united with him in faith.

Second reading: Colossians 3:12-21

(NB the text in bold and in the ‘quote sections’ is what we hear on Sunday, the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

Put On the New Self
3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

4 Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Family life in the Lord
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.

Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Photo (c) 2014, Allen Morris. Holy Family, Musee du Moyen Age, Paris.

Preparing for Mass on Holy Family Sunday (1st Sunday of Christmas)

The Gospel we hear on Sunday bridges from the immediate aftermath of the birth of Jesus, through the accounts of the slaughter of innocents and exile to and return from Egypt, which anticipate the ‘new Moses’ theme that runs through Matthew’s Gospel.

The reading inserts Jesus into our human history and its vicissitudes; from which he invites us into sharing in his divinity and into the life of the Kingdom.

Gospel: Matthew 2:13-15,19-23

(NB the text in bold and in ‘quote sections’ is what we hear on Sunday, the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

The Visit of the Wise Men
2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6  “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

The Flight to Egypt

13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Herod Kills the Children
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18  “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”

The Return to Nazareth

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Photo (c) 2017, Allen Morris. Mosaic of the Holy Family, Church of St Joseph, Nazareth.

Living Eucharist: supporting people who face challenges

The Gospel heard on Sunday, with its extraordinary story, reminds of the challenges that people can experience in much more ordinary circumstances too.

Some of these are welcomed, some are much more difficult to face and deal with – for example when good relationships become stressed and even dysfunctional

Marriage Care offers marriage preparation, relationship
counselling and more

They specialise in helping couples build and sustain strong, fulfilling, healthy relationships, and in providing support in times of relationship difficulty.

Why? Because better relationships make for better lives, more stable families and a stronger society.

They are ready to help, whatever people’s circumstances.

Marriage Care is part of the Catholic Caritas network, but is ready to assist and support all couples.

Why not offer this prayre for those you know who are preparing for marriage…

I give you praise, O Lord,
who in your gentle wisdom call and prepare
your son and daughter N. and N.
to love each other.

Graciously strengthen their hearts, we pray,
so that, by keeping faith and pleasing you in all things,
they may come happily to the Sacrament of Marriage.

Through Christ our Lord.

And pray also for a couple or family that you know are facing problems at this time:

Faithful God,
I thank you for your constancy,
and I pray to you for N. and N. in this time of trouble and testing.
Call and help them to reaffirm their commitment to each other.
May your mercy and grace be to them health and strength;
may they learn again to be honest, patient and understanding;
And as they grow together in love for each other
may they proclaim your saving love
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Prayers adapted from the Order of Celebrating Matrimony (c) 2013 ICEL and draft Order of Christian Marriage (c) 1992 Bishops Conference of England and Wales.
  • Photo (c) 2017, Allen Morris. Marriage window, St Severin, Paris.

Responding to the Mass of the fourth Sunday of Advent

There are many treatments of the Annunciation to Mary, as told in the Gospel of Luke. There are fewer of the Annunciation to Joseph, as told in the Gospel of Matthew.

One depiction which is of particular note is that in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s exceptional film The Gospel according to Matthew.

The scene is played out almost without words, but beautifully establishes the quality of relationship between Mary and Joseph, and draws us into both the pain and the joy of their experience.

The whole film is presently available on YouTube – click here. (although you may have to endure discordant adverts!). The Annunciation scene is the first scene and then follows the story of the Magi and the Massacre of the Innocents.

However, as this is Year A for our Sunday Lectionary, and Matthew’s is the Gospel of the Year why not rent or buy the film and watch it without interruption and at leisure. It is available on Amazon Prime Video and on DVD/Blu Ray. – but do watch it in the original black and white, not in the unfortunate colorised version

Released in 1964 and dedicated to the memory of Pope John XXIII, ‘The Gospel According to Matthew’ has been regularly voted one of the greatest religious films ever made. As recently as 2015, it was declared, by the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, to be the best film on Christ ever made

  • Images are screen captures showing Mary and Joseph from the film.

Preparing for Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent

First reading: Isaiah 7:10-14

In the extract from the prophecy of Isaiah heard at Mass this coming Sunday Christians detect a foretelling of the birth of Jesus of the Virgin Mary.

However note the historical setting, and its tone! This is a prophesy that is points to the forthcoming devastation of the remaining tribes of Israel, and their exile from the Promised Land – because of the faith they place in politicking and earthy covenants rather than in the covenant with the Lord, rather than in the Lord himself.

  • Wherein, in whom, do you put your trust?

The extract for the Lectionary isolates the promise of faith fulfilled from the consequences of faith betrayed. Something similar often occurs in the editing of our Sunday readings.

  • What might be the consequences of this for the maturity of Christian faith, and our familiarity with the first part of our bible?

Isaiah Sent to King Ahaz
Chapter 7
1. In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. 2 When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.

3 And the LORD said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. 4 And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smouldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tab eel as king in the midst of it,” 7 thus says the Lord GOD:

“‘It shall not stand,
and it shall not come to pass.
8  For the head of Syria is Damascus,
and the head of Damascus is Rezin.
And within sixty-five years
Ephraim will be shattered from being a people.
9  And the head of Ephraim is Samaria,
and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.
If you are not firm in faith,
you will not be firm at all.’”

The Sign of Immanuel
10 Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The LORD will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!”

18 In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thorn bushes, and on all the pastures.

20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also.

21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey.

23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Photo (c) 2017, Allen Morris. Basilica of Annunciation, Nazareth.

Preparing for Mass on the Fourth Sunday of Advent

The psalm we sing this Sunday honours the Lord and  acknowledges the blessings that God gives to us. The editor of the Lectionary, again, omits verses which acknowledge the very presence of the Lord (perhaps understood as Israel’s earthly king in the psalm’s original setting, but now understood by Christians as referring to the Lord Jesus and his entry – and continued presence – among us).

This Sunday we count our blessings and anticipate those blessings still to come.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23(24):1-6

1     A Psalm of David.

      The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
      the world, and those who dwell in it.
2     It is he who set it on the seas;
      on the rivers he made it firm.

3     Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
      Who shall stand in his holy place?
4     The clean of hands and pure of heart,
      whose soul is not set on vain things,
      who has not sworn deceitful words.

5     Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,
      and right reward from the God who saves him.
6     Such are the people who seek him,
      who seek the face of the God of Jacob.

* * *

7     O gates, lift high your heads;
      grow higher, ancient doors.
      Let him enter, the king of glory!

8     Who is this king of glory?
      The Lord, the mighty, the valiant;
      the Lord, the valiant in war.

9     O gates, lift high your heads;
      grow higher, ancient doors.
      Let him enter, the king of glory!

10   Who is this king of glory?
      He, the Lord of hosts,
      he is the king of glory.

Acknowledgements

  • Translation of Psalms: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010.
  • Commentary: (c) 2019, Allen Morris
  • Photo (c) 2016, Allen Morris. David. All Saints, Leamington .