Speak Lord: our wisdom, our hope

Cross, Avignon

The second reading at Mass on Sunday, the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, continues our hearing of the letter to the Colossians.

Last week’s passage focuses largely on the divine and transcendent. This week’s focuses on the human struggle here and now of Paul, so that what Christ won (and wins) might be for the benefit of us now and here.

Christ suffered to win salvation for us; now Paul does all he can that we might receive and rejoice in that victory.

It makes me happy to suffer for you, as I am suffering now, and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that has still to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church. I became the servant of the Church when God made me responsible for delivering God’s message to you, the message which was a mystery hidden for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints. It was God’s purpose to reveal it to them and to show all the rich glory of this mystery to pagans. The mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory: this is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone, to make them all perfect in Christ.

Colossians 1:24-28

  • In what way is Christ your hope?
  • In which way has he become your wisdom?

The Holy Cross and Saints, Eglise Saint Agricole, Avignon. (c) 2014, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Light, Life, Joy

Light catchers, Avignon

Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Easter and the Responsorial psalm is again a psalm that is full of praise and longing to praise.

That sometime gap between the longing to praise and the reality of praise is maybe especially pertinent for us to note at this stage in Easter. If indeed we still remember that it is Easter: after all, look around, most people won’t, or just don’t, care that it is Easter. The day came and went, we had our Easter Eggs, let’s get on with life…

Yet is is Easter, and without it we would not have life. It is Easter, the season of thanksgiving for the Lord’s rising from the dead and, maybe still more wonderful, our sharing in that rising from the death of sin and fault and weariness and all. His rising is once and for all: our rising will find its fulfilment in eternal life, but for now it makes its presence known in the daily risings following the daily falls. For these too we praise.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!

O God, be gracious and bless us
and let your face shed its light upon us.
So will your ways be known upon earth
and all nations learn your saving help.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!

Let the nations be glad and exult
for you rule the world with justice.
With fairness you rule the peoples,
you guide the nations on earth.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!

Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
May God still give us his blessing
till the ends of the earth revere him.

Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
or
Alleluia!

Psalm 66:2-3,5-6,8

  • Where do you find the light of God’s face?
  • Where do you find his saving help comes to your assistance?

Light catchers, Prison Sainte Anne, Avignon. (c) 2014, Allen Morris