Taste and See: Now, us…

I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.

Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. You have been trusted to look after something precious; guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

2nd reading for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14

  • What gift(s) have you received from in Jesus Christ?
  • How do you use them?
  • How might you use them still better?
  • Why might the Lord have given you these gifts, and perhaps withheld others?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Painting by Henri Martin, Toulouse.

Taste and See: A hard grind?

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 17:5-10

Sometimes life, including the life lived in faith, is experienced as sheer slog. And then when you get to the end of the present work or task there is just more of the same…

Our experience and the greaeter reality are not always the same.

Always we are surrounded by love, supported by love and care. Always.

But often we don’t experience that, at a particular time. The reason for that may be ours – disgruntled, we just listen to our own moans and groans; or maybe we just don’t know this greater truth. And sometimes it is possible we are being tested, being helped to mature, to learn to do the right things for the best reasons and not for instant gratification. When we don’t experience the love that is for all things, and in all things, that can make things hard.

But love helps us find the way… brings us through…

The demonstration of that, the proof of that, we find in Jesus Christ – in his faithfulness in mission even to death, and in the glory of the Resurrection.

  • When did the clouds last lift for you? Why?
  • What helps you keep on when they show no sign of lifting?
  • And what if you cannot ‘keep on? What then?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Van Gogh. Digging. Barber Instotiute, Birmingham.

Speak Lord: Work your work

Come, ring out our joy to the Lord;
hail the rock who saves us.
Let us come before him, giving thanks,
with songs let us hail the Lord.

Come in; let us bow and bend low;
let us kneel before the God who made us:
for he is our God and we
the people who belong to his pasture,
the flock that is led by his hand.

O that today you would listen to his voice!
‘Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as on that day at Massah in the desert
when your fathers put me to the test;
when they tried me, though they saw my work.’

Responsorial Psalm for 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 94(95):1-2,6-9

The Lord works for us, and we work in response…

His work is to set us free and help us to live lovingly. His work seems never-ending, and our needs inexhaustible!

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Detail of West Door entrance, Basilica of St Denis, Paris.

Speak Lord: Help us to serve…

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

Gospel for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 17:5-10

Work takes many forms – but it the way in which we fulfil our potential. Doing is our way into truly ‘being’.

Our master, God the divine Being, is – we are in process and are becoming. It is our task and duty, and also our privilege …

  • Where do you see your tasks lying?
  • What challenges do you presently face in fulfilling them?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. Architectural feature. Toulouse.

Taste and See: love shared

Alleluia, alleluia!
Jesus Christ was rich,
but he became poor for your sake,
to make you rich out of his poverty.
Alleluia!

Alternative Gospel acclamation for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 8:9

The richness of God’s love is poured out for our benefit.

We are rich in his mercy, and have love to share in thanksgiving and charity.

Photograph (c) 2012, Allen Morris. Early Christian casting of corpus of Christ crucified. British Museum, London.

Taste and See: Getting it right?



As a man dedicated to God, you must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses. Now, before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who at the due time will be revealed
by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all,
the King of kings and the Lord of lords,
who alone is immortal,
whose home is in inaccessible light,
whom no man has seen and no man is able to see:
to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

2nd Reading for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Timothy 6:11-16

Again and again down the centuries the intended witness of the Church on earth is cancelled out and contradicted by the actions of some of her members. In our own age no less than in others, and maybe even to the greatest extent in our age.

What causes us – or some of us – to fall short, and how well do the rest of us deal with that?

There is a tendency for some – faced with scandal – to separate themselves off from the Church either as individuals or as a breakaway group. What does that suggest to others?

How does God in his glory respond to our sins and failures? The sins of the guilty, and the sins of the ‘righteous’?

Photograph (c) 2015, Allen Morris. Detail of painting by Vasily Perov, ‘The Monastery Refectory’. Russia Museum, St Petersburg.



Taste and See: When will we learn?

Jesus said to the Pharisees: ‘There was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and feast magnificently every day. And at his gate there lay a poor man called Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to fill himself with the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even came and licked his sores. Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried.

‘In his torment in Hades he looked up and saw Abraham a long way off with Lazarus in his bosom. So he cried out, “Father Abraham, pity me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in agony in these flames.” “My son,” Abraham replied “remember that during your life good things came your way, just as bad things came the way of Lazarus. Now he is being comforted here while you are in agony. But that is not all: between us and you a great gulf has been fixed, to stop anyone, if he wanted to, crossing from our side to yours, and to stop any crossing from your side to ours.”

‘The rich man replied, “Father, I beg you then to send Lazarus to my father’s house, since I have five brothers, to give them warning so that they do not come to this place of torment too.” “They have Moses and the prophets,” said Abraham “let them listen to them.” “Ah no, father Abraham,” said the rich man “but if someone comes to them from the dead, they will repent.” Then Abraham said to him, “If they will not listen either to Moses or to the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone should rise from the dead.”’

Gospel for 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 16:19-31

We have – and arguably all people have – received the additional help that the rich man asks Abraham to provide for his brothers to save them.

It seems not to have helped.

Do you agree? If so, why has it not helped?

If it has helped, who has it helped, and how, and why?

Photograph (c) 2016, Allen Morris. Salopian tile, c 1890: Shrewsbury Museum