Speak Lord: Intercessor and Saviour

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

Second reading for the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, Good Friday
Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9

St John tells the story of the Passion and Death and the Resurrection as a story where Jesus is entirely in control. Other people do wicked and cruel things to him, but only because he allows it (just look at the account of the ‘arrest’ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and how, in John’s account, Jesus has no need of a Simon of Cyrene.)

All of the Evangelists tell of the Passion as Saving Mystery, as – principally -what God does in response to the evil of man; but John especially puts the emphasis on the glory of what Jesus achieves, as he fulfils all that the Father would have him do. His hour has come.

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

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Speak Lord: Servant to the servants…

The blessing-cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ.

How can I repay the Lord
for his goodness to me?
The cup of salvation I will raise;
I will call on the Lord’s name.

O precious in the eyes of the Lord
is the death of his faithful.
Your servant, Lord, your servant am I;
you have loosened my bonds.

A thanksgiving sacrifice I make;
I will call on the Lord’s name.
My vows to the Lord I will fulfil
before all his people.


Responsorial Psalm for Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Thursday
Psalm 115(116):12-13,15-18

The Lord makes himself food and drink for us, that we may live in him and he in us.

  • For whom do we give ourselves? And why?
  • What can we learn about the Lord from those experiences in our own lives?

Chalice. Treasury, Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Broken and healing

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

My vindicator is here at hand.

Does anyone start proceedings against me?
Then let us go to court together.
Who thinks he has a case against me?
Let him approach me.

The Lord is coming to my help,
who will dare to condemn me?

First reading for the Wednesday of Holy Week
Isaiah 50:4-9

The Lord endured suffering and endured it for our sake.

For our sake he overcame suffering, to free us from our agonies and sins.

Carving. Collection of the Barber Institute, Birmingham. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Generous witness…

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help.
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still.

Responsorial Psalm for the Tuesday of Holy Week
Psalm 70(71):1-6,15,17

The Lord Jesus speaks of the faithfulness of his Father, and of his love and mercy.

He is never silent – but speaks in words and works even yet.

Carving, Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: loving Lord…

During Holy Week, 
rather than repeat the readings of Palm Sunday 
or anticipate the readings of Easter Sunday, 
Living Eucharist features a reading from the liturgy of that day.

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.

He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
nor quench the wavering flame.

Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the islands are awaiting his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
he who created the heavens and spread them out,
who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
who gave breath to its people
and life to the creatures that move in it:

‘I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.’

First reading for the Mass of the Monday of Holy Week
Isaiah 42:1-7

God loves the one who loves us, and serves us.

We do well to seek to love him in return – for that way will we learn love and learn to live by with and from love.

Carving, Musée national du Moyen Âge, Paris. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Faithful One

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.

For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.

The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

First reading for Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-7

The ‘Suffering servant’ of Isaiah prefigures the Christ.

Both are single-minded in their service of the people. Both are of one heart in their obedience to the Lord.

  • What occupies your mind?
  • What directs your heart?

Detail from Sarcophagus Altar, St Trophime, Arles. (c) 2014, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Lead us in faith

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

All who see me deride me.
They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
‘He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
let him release him if this is his friend.’

Many dogs have surrounded me,
a band of the wicked beset me.
They tear holes in my hands and my feet
I can count every one of my bones.

They divide my clothing among them.
They cast lots for my robe.
O Lord, do not leave me alone,
my strength, make haste to help me!

I will tell of your name to my brethren
and praise you where they are assembled.
‘You who fear the Lord give him praise;
all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
Revere him, Israel’s sons.


Responsorial Psalm for Palm Sunday
Psalm 21(22):8-9,17-20,23-24

The anguish of the response and our sympathy for the crucified Lord may obscure the movement in the psalm from that anguish through a description of persecution, and to a defiant determined expression of trust in the God of Israel.

We know the horror of this world’s execution of God incarnate, but we also know his faithfulness and this world’s ultimate inability to extinguish his love and life and faith.

Carving. Bethphage, Jerusalem. (c) 2017, Allen Morris