Speak Lord: even when we hide…


DSC06019aCathedrale de la Assumption et St-Castor.jpg

The Lord God called to the man after he had eaten of the tree. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’

Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,
‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’

First reading for the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Genesis 3:9-15

The tension between human kind and sin, the disrupting of the relationship between God and humankind is the them for all that follows through the pages and books of the Bible.

The resolution of the tension, the overcoming of temptation and the ministry of the blam of love comes in the vcitory won by Jesus Christ which concludes the paages and books of the Bible.

Now all that remains is for that victory to finally succeed in our lives too.

Carving. Cathedrale de la Assumption et St-Castor, Nimes. (c) 2017, Allen Morris


Speak Lord: Of holiness and love

Zelie and Louis MartinThe First reading at Mass today introduces a theme- this week the theme of marriage. As usual, that ‘theme’ is taken up and developed/explored in the the responsorial psalm and the Gospel reading.

The Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make him a helpmate.’ So from the soil the Lord God fashioned all the wild beasts and all the birds of heaven. These he brought to the man to see what he would call them; each one was to bear the name the man would give it. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of heaven and all the wild beasts. But no helpmate suitable for man was found for him. So the Lord God made the man fall into a deep sleep. And while he slept, he took one of his ribs and enclosed it in flesh. The Lord God built the rib he had taken from the man into a woman, and brought her to the man. The man exclaimed:

‘This at last is bone from my bones,
and flesh from my flesh!
This is to be called woman,
for this was taken from man.’

This is why a man leaves his father and mother and joins himself to his wife, and they become one body.

Genesis 2:18-24

Some might suggest that God, in addressing man’s existential problem that he cannot be alone and has not yet learnt how to be in full communion with God, causes another! How does man live with (wo)man?!

Yet the potential for wholeness is what God creates and men and women are set on the track to learn that wholeness and holiness. In the life-long union of marriage come some of the greatest tests to maturity and the greatest helps to it. We see that in the story of Adam and Eve. We see that in our own lives, married or not.

  • Pray for the Synod on the vocation and mission of the Family, beginning this weekend in Rome.
  • Pray for married couples
  • Pray for all parents and their families
  • Pray for yourself and your relationships.

Shrine of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Therese of Lisieux, who are to be canonised during the current Synod in Rome on the Family and its Vocation

Speak Lord: Of Kingdom and Love

Adam and Eve York

The Gospel reading for Sunday, the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, is one much quoted in these days of controversy regarding marriage: regarding same sex-marriage, how to respond to ‘failed’ marriages, how to understand what the purpose of marriage is, how it relates to God’s will, our will, our convenience and so on.

We come to it again, in a spirit of meditation and a desire to know and do God’s will.

Some Pharisees approached Jesus and asked, ‘Is it against the law for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were testing him. He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’ ‘Moses allowed us’ they said ‘to draw up a writ of dismissal and so to divorce.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so unteachable that he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female. This is why a man must leave father and mother, and the two become one body. They are no longer two, therefore, but one body. So then, what God has united, man must not divide.’

Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this, and he said to them, ‘The man who divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples turned them away, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ Then he put his arms round them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

Mark 10:2-16

We will all notice something in the Gospel, all find a different place of insight, of comfort and quite possible of discomfort. Let me note just three things:

  1. The contrast Jesus makes between God’s law and the commandment of Moses.
  2. His recognition that the people are unteachable and that Moses responded with something which may or may not have been helpful (but does not effect God’s law)
  3. The call to be simple, child-like welcoming of the kingdom of God: letting go of the other expectations, preoccupations so as to be open to, and to welcome, the kingdom of God.

What we note we bring to God in prayer – and its there we find help to resolve our confusions, confront our challenges, find healing for our hurts. In that divine dialogue between Father and his child we are granted a space to grow and learn.

  • What do you find in your heart today that welcomes the kingdom?
  • What do you find in your heart the seems to close the way?

Image of the creation of Adam and Eve. York Minster. (c) 2007, Allen Morris