The Gospel for today’s Mass

As last week and as next, this Sunday’s Gospel comes from chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is on the verge of his Passion and he offers in this chapter three parables about testing, about care and dear, and judgement.

In this Sunday’s parable Jesus challenges us – how do we feel about the servant who fails? How do we feel about the Master who gets angry? Where and how would we like to find ourselves in this story – where do we find ourselves in the story? And how do we respond to that? What do we do with what we learn?

Jesus’ parables, ancient and ever-new, do a remarkable job of teasing our minds into fresh action, and helping our hearts to respond to his encouragement and healing.

Gospel reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25:14-30

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25.1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Final Judgment
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The Plot to Kill Jesus
26.1 When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, 2 “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”


 
 
Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2008, Allen Morris. Prison of the Doges Palace, Venice.

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The Second reading for tomorrow’s Mass

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians with words of assurance and encouragement. But not with platitudes – they are words that exhort to goodness and faithfulness, to an authentic living out of faith. Faith as a walking staff, and not faith as an easy chair.

  • What image would you use to symbolise your faith, as it is today?
  • Bring your thoughts to God in prayer…

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Second reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

The Day of the Lord
5 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. 2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. 5 For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. 6 So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.

7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Final Instructions and Benediction
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. 15 See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

25 Brothers, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2007, Allen Morris. Chair of Moses, Synagogue of Chorazin, Galillee.
 

Psalm for Mass this coming Sunday

In these day s of stress and strain the psalm speaks of peace and tranquility. The psalmist finds comfort and assurance in a well ordered family life; in labour rewarded by prosperity, and above all – and in all – the blessings of God.

  • Where do you find hope these days?
  • What do give/share hope with others?

Psalm 128 (127)
Responsorial Psalm for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

1A 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 prosper.

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 Psalm: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2019, Allen Morris. Detail of fountain at the People’s Palace, Glasgow.

The First Reading for Mass this coming Sunday

Let me begin with a confession.

In preparing for today’s Blog I realised I have never read the Book of Proverbs in its entirety. Another task for lockdown#2.

I have often read and benefitted from the verses that are selected for this Sunday ‘s first reading, but never read them in context. A good wife is praised, but the mother of King Lemuel seems a little conflicted with regard to her sex, we might detect a smidgeon of internalised social repression:

‘Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.’

On the other hand it may be wisdom gained from careful observation, and honed by a sharp intelligence.

We read an ancient text from a somewhat different culture, what do we take from it? And how do we justify what we let lie?

When we read Scripture do we look looking for our own reflection, or do we allow that which is exceptional, unusual, even scandalous or offensive truly to challenge us whether or not, in the end – informed by other passages from scripture and other influencers – we choose to reject its challenge.

Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31
First reading for the Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)


The Words of King Lemuel
31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
 Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
 let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
10  An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11  The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12  She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13  She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.

14  She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15  She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16  She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17  She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18  She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.

19  She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20  She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.

21  She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22  She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23  Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24  She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25  Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26  She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27  She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28  Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29  “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”

30  Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31  Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2016, Allen Morris. Funerary monument, St Leonard’s church, Charlecote, Warwickshire

The Collect for Sunday coming…

Gladness, joy, happiness are under strain these days. For some people Lockdown #2 is proving more difficult than Lockdown #1 – and for all sorts of reasons.

  • It is now late Autumn rather than early Spring;
  • Days are getting shorter and nights darker
  • Last time we were sort of in shock and yet wanted to do our best, together, for everyone. Now we are not so sure we are making any difference
  • Last time we thought a short sharp shock might sort things, now we realise this is something we will have to deal with for months yet, at least
  • And we will all have our losses and bereavements to deal with, and we are still often frustrated in being able to do this in the ways that we would wish.

And yet, humankind has been here before, and things do move on.

And most importantly of all, God is good and the Lord is risen, and he calls us to health, wholeness and holiness…

  • What blessings can we count today to help us once more to gladness, joy and happiness?

Collect for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,
the constant gladness of being devoted to you,
for it is full and lasting happiness
to serve with constancy
the author of all that is good.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of the Collect: English translation of The Roman Missal ©  2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph:© 2017, Allen Morris. Street Art, Montpellier, France.

This Sunday’s Gospel

The late Cardinal Hume was once asked what was the point of a Catholic school, and he answered “To prepare a child for death”.

It might sound like a joyless answer, except on further interrogation the way to best prepare a child for eventual death, was to prepare him or her to live well. For that loving living prepares us for heaven – by far the best amongst the various alternatives after death!

Jesus offers the same preparation to us in chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel, which we begin to listen to today and which offers us spiritual nourishment over the next two Sundays also.

Matthew 25:1-13
Gospel for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins
25.1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Final Judgment
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”


 
 
Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2020, Allen Morris. Parable of the virgins. Stained Glass, Ely Cathedral.

The second reading for tomorrow’s Mass

The Lord’s Second Coming does not seem to figure massively on most Catholic’s radar. It does not egularly crop up in conversation – but it is a theme pretty central to the first Letter to the Thessalonians, and the reading that is given to be read at Mass tomorrow.

It is also a central theme in the first weeks of Advent – and lies behind tomorrow’s Gospel.

However to give attention to this matter in a healthy way does not at all involve trying to calculate the day, nor does it seem to help to presume that these our days (and therefore the most important ones, people often seem to assume) are the days when the Second Coming is most imminent.

Except in so far as every day the Lord comes to us – in our neighbour, in the relationship we have with God, and with ourselves. It was said centuries ago by Tertullian that every day is the Lord’s Day – the Lord who was, is and will be. And so our every day we should live- not so much in fear or real and present danger of meeting him – but joyfully prepared to meet him and live in communion with him, and with our neighbour.

  • At the end of the day, today, spend a moment, asking yourself where did you meet the Lord today? And how did you respond?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Second reading for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

A Life Pleasing to God
4.1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

The Coming of the Lord
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures: English Standard Version (c) 2001-9, Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2015, Allen Morris. St Isaac’s Cathedral, St Petersburg, Russia

The Psalm for this coming Sunday’s Mass

This psalm is many things. Its superscription links it to the travails and exile of David. It surely is a song of longing, of seeking for completion, wholeness. It is protest against enemies and confident prayer that the singer will know vitory over them.

But perhaps most of all, and especially as edited for our Sunday Lectionary it is a love song, in which the lover rejoices in, and longs for the fresh consumation of his love. (Though I cannot imagine, in that case, why the editors of the Lectionary decided to omit the lovely verse 9: “My soul clings fast to you;/ your right hand upholds me.”)

  • How would you describe your love for God?
  • How would God describe his love for you?


Psalm 62(63):2-8
Responsorial Psalm for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

(NB the text set for Sunday is given below in bold and in ‘quote sections’ below; the rest is the immediate biblical text from which the Lectionary text is extracted)

1A Psalm of David when he was in the desert of Judah.

2           O God, you are my God; at dawn I seek you;
            for you my soul is thirsting.
            For you my flesh is pining,
            like a dry, weary land without water.
3           I have come before you in the sanctuary,
            to behold your strength and your glory.

4           Your loving mercy is better than life;
            my lips will speak your praise.
5           I will bless you all my life;
            in your name I will lift up my hands.
6           My soul shall be filled as with a banquet;
            with joyful lips, my mouth shall praise you.

7           When I remember you upon my bed,
            I muse on you through the watches of the night.
8           For you have been my strength;
            in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.

9           My soul clings fast to you;
            your right hand upholds me.

10         Those who seek to destroy my life
            shall go down to the depths of the earth.
11         Put to the power of the sword,
            they shall be left as prey for the jackals.

12         But the king shall rejoice in God;
            all that swear by him shall exult,
            for the mouth of liars shall be silenced.


Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Psalm: From The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter. (c) 2010
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2013, Allen Morris. Palais Lascaris, Nice.

First Reading for the Mass of Sunday coming

Wisdom is personified in our Old Testament – identified as a woman.

This idea of Lady Wisdom is taken up in some Catholic traditions and associated with Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God. Others link it with theology of the Holy Spirit.

In all cases it is clear that wisdom is not us!! That wisdom is something/some-one beyond us, but wisdom looks to share goodness and truth with us, and to draw us to goodness and truth.

Many are those who claim to have the truth; rarer are those who are ready to listen and be helped and guided to truth by others…

  • How do you try to be open to learn more of the Lord’s truth and love? And be guided to live that truth and love?
  • What challenges do you face and have to try to overcome?

Wisdom 6:12-16
First reading for Mass on 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom is bright, and does not grow dim.
By those who love her she is readily seen,
and found by those who look for her.

Quick to anticipate those who desire her, she makes herself known to them.
Watch for her early and you will have no trouble;
you will find her sitting at your gates.

Even to think about her is understanding fully grown;
be on the alert for her and anxiety will quickly leave you.

She herself walks about looking for those who are worthy of her
and graciously shows herself to them as they go,
in every thought of theirs coming to meet them.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of Scriptures:the Jerusalem Bible © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman  &  Todd, Ltd and Doubleday, a division of  Random House, Inc.
~ Commentary: (c) 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: (c) 2015, Allen Morris. Our Lady Seat of Wisdom, Oscott College.

The Collect for the coming Sunday’s Mass

We are vulnerable folk. We are vulnerable to forces outside of us and just as vulnerable to forces within.

The assailant threats to our security may be physical or mental, may even be real or ‘imaginary’, but they are real and actual in the impact they have on us, robbing us of a sense of security and well-being, of peace.

Jesus promises us peace, and gives us peace so we may endure and, through God’s grace, even flourish.

This day let us renew our trust in him.

Collect for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Almighty and merciful God,
graciously keep from us all adversity,
so that, unhindered in mind and body alike,
we may pursue in freedom of heart
the things that are yours.

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.

Acknowledgements
~ Translation of the Collect: English translation of The Roman Missal ©  2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved
~ Commentary: © 2020, Allen Morris
~ Photograph: © 2019, Allen Morris. Detail of RNLI memorial, Moelfre, Anglesey.