Speak Lord: Refuge and source of life

In the spirit, the angel took me to the top of an enormous high mountain and showed me Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down from God out of heaven. It had all the radiant glory of God and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal-clear diamond. The walls of it were of a great height, and had twelve gates; at each of the twelve gates there was an angel, and over the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; on the east there were three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. The city walls stood on twelve foundation stones, each one of which bore the name of one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw that there was no temple in the city since the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb were themselves the temple, and the city did not need the sun or the moon for light, since it was lit by the radiant glory of God and the Lamb was a lighted torch for it.

2nd reading for the 6th Sunday of Easter
Apocalypse 21:10-14,22-23

All in the heavenly Jerusalem speaks of the saving love of God – speaks of the people first chosen as his people; speaks of the apostles who help the Lord extend access to the covenant of his love to the people; speaks of life, light and love.

And all this for us, and all this good news for us to share with others…

Eucharistic Dove (Tabernacle), Musée national du Moyen Âge, formerly Musée de Cluny: Paris. Photograph (c) 2004, Allen Morris

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Speak Lord: Giver of gifts

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him and make our home with him. Those who do not love me do not keep my words. And my word is not my own: it is the word of the one who sent me.

‘I have said these things to you while still with you; but the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you.

‘Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

‘You heard me say: I am going away, and shall return. If you loved me you would have been glad to know that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

‘ I have told you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen you may believe.’

Gospel for 6th Sunday of Easter
John 14:23-29

The loving Master seeks to equip his disciples, his friends, for what awaits them. Precious gifts: peace, wisdom,courage – gifts of the Lord, gifts of the Spirit.

So often we seek to rely only on our own strength. Important to learn to make good use of the gifts of the Lord also.

  • What helps you admit your need for help?
  • Why might you sometimes deny it?

Art work, Monastic church of Saint-Emilion, Saint Emilion, France. Photo (c) 2018, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: Called to holiness

I will bless your name for ever, O God my King. or Alleluia!

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,
to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

Responsorial Psalm for 5th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 144(145):8-13a

How loving is God – love without end, good to all, compassionate to all.

In the Lord’s Prayer Jesus taught us to ask God to put a limit on his love for us – perhaps by way of encouragement for us, in our turn, to love better:

…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…

  • What helps you keep you mindful of the call to love generously?
  • How confident can you be when you ask God to forgive you as you forgive others?

Display of trinkets: Pier cabin, Llandudno, Wales (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: whose burden is light

Paul and Barnabas went back through Lystra and Iconium to Antioch. They put fresh heart into the disciples, encouraging them to persevere in the faith. ‘We all have to experience many hardships’ they said ‘before we enter the kingdom of God.’ In each of these churches they appointed elders, and with prayer and fasting they commended them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.

They passed through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. Then after proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia and from there sailed for Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.

On their arrival they assembled the church and gave an account of all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith to the pagans.

First reading for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 14:21-27

Paul and Barnabas speak as witnesses when it comes to hardships. They speak of that which they know.

But they speak also of the promises of God, even now being fulfilled among hardships in the building up of the community of faith.

  • What hardships do you face?
  • What joys?

Sacred Heart, Aston. (c) 2016, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: The Word of Life

I will bless your name for ever, O God my King. or Alleluia!

The Lord is kind and full of compassion,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
How good is the Lord to all,
compassionate to all his creatures.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God,
to make known to men your mighty deeds
and the glorious splendour of your reign.

Yours is an everlasting kingdom;
your rule lasts from age to age.

Responsorial Psalm for 5th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 144(145):8-13a

The Lord speaks his loving Word.

He speaks that we might better know him and know his love for us.

He invites us to know him and love him so we might better help still others better hear. He speaks that we might be more like him in ourselves and in our working.

Eglise de Saint-Esprit, Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Workman at work

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new.’

Second reading for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Apocalypse 21:1-5

The reading contains such promise, and such hope: for creation, our world, us.

  • How might God be making you new?
  • Bring your thoughts to the Lord in prayer…

Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, Paris. (c) 2017, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Back to better…

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, as beautiful as a bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ‘You see this city? Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people, and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new.’

Second reading for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Apocalypse 21:1-5

We face all sorts of challenges, experience all sorts of change, all sorts of loss. Sometimes in the midst of this our hearts are broken and we can lose ourselves.

The newness of God’s love restores all that is good, and for our good. He is our reason for hope.

Street Art. Montpellier. (c) 2018, Allen Morris