A new start…

Living Eucharist was launched in May 2014 and since then there have been over 1987 pages blogged.

Over recent months, it has seemed to me that it was time for a revamp, to look again at how the blog might better help resource our preparation for Sunday Eucharist, and in the days that follow help us to continue to find nourishment there…

From Advent 2019, the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, in conjunction with the Bible Society, is sponsoring ‘A Year of the Word’, under the title of The God Who Speaks. The aim is to encourage a deeper Scriptural engagement through

  1. a celebration of God’s word in worship and prayer;
  2. living God’s word in our social action and outreach;
  3. sharing God’s word in our formation, proclamation and evangelisation.

The hope is that the revamped Living Eucharist Blog can help its readers to engage with each of those objectives!

Another way of presenting the Lectionary Readings

Over the past 5 years this blog has very largely focussed on Scripture, presenting and representing the readings from the Sunday Lectionary.

But the Lectionary is not the Bible, and sometimes the Lectionary readings are not so easy to comprehend out of their original context.

So when the Blog is relaunched for the first Sunday of Advent although the Lectionary readings will be featured, the blog will give the immediate context of each reading too. For example – in the case of the Old Testament readings – giving the longer narrative (or as much as seems manageable) from which the reading comes; and – in the case of the semi-continuous readings from the Epistles and Gospels – giving the verses that are missed from a passage, and/or the verse that link one week’s reading to the next.

Connecting with life and work

Not quite sure how this will work, but on Sundays you can expect to see some link between the Sunday’s Gospel and the life of the Church, and of the communities that she lives within and is called to serve.

Sharing God’s word

This remit may be fulfilled in various ways – but expect to see how artists and musicians have connected with the readings of the week. and to be encouraged to seek after other ways in which we can be helped to dwell in God’s word; to dialogue with it; and to share it with the world.

Those are the plans, anyway…
Let’s pray they come to fruition
and in turn prove fruitful…

Image: Wordle of the ‘Introduction to the Lectionary

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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: 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

Speak Lord: Our rock?

The almighty Lord says this: ‘Woe to those ensconced so snugly in Zion and to those who feel so safe on the mountain of Samaria, those famous men of this first of nations to whom the House of Israel goes as client. Lying on ivory beds and sprawling on their divans, they dine on lambs from the flock, and stall-fattened veal; they bawl to the sound of the harp, they invent new instruments of music like David, they drink wine by the bowlful, and use the finest oil for anointing themselves, but about the ruin of Joseph they do not care at all. That is why they will be the first to be exiled; the sprawlers’ revelry is over.’

1st reading for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Amos 6:1,4-7

Our security is threatened in many ways – climate change, political extremism, economic changes. Sometimes we have the courage to face these things – and at other times we seek escape in all sorts of ways – some more gross than others.

To what do you turn when the going gets tough?

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. L’Abbaye St Pierre, Moissac,

Speak Lord: Your love through us

It is the Lord who keeps faith for ever,
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
the Lord, who sets prisoners free.

It is the Lord who gives sight to the blind,
who raises up those who are bowed down.
It is the Lord who loves the just,
the Lord, who protects the stranger.

The Lord upholds the widow and orphan
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign for ever,
Zion’s God, from age to age.

Responsorial Psalm for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Psalm 145(146):7-10

One of the ways he Lord gives sight to the blind, loves the just and protexts the stranger, is by his own love.

Another, is through our love. He invites us to be agents of his love for the world.

Photograph (c) 2018, Allen Morris. L’Abbaye St Pierre, Moissac,