Speak Lord: Make us one…

Pilgrim WayThe second reading at Mass on Sunday, the Second Sunday of Ordinsry Time, begins a reading of the 1st Letter of St Paul to the Corinthians which will continue on Sundays until we begin Lent.

The sequence  calls us to faithfulness, in our living communion together in the Church, and as individual disciples.

There is a variety of gifts but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of service to be done, but always to the same Lord; working in all sorts of different ways in different people, it is the same God who is working in all of them. The particular way in which the Spirit is given to each person is for a good purpose. One may have the gift of preaching with wisdom given him by the Spirit; another may have the gift of preaching instruction given him by the same Spirit; and another the gift of faith given by the same Spirit; another again the gift of healing, through this one Spirit; one, the power of miracles; another, prophecy; another the gift of recognising spirits; another the gift of tongues and another the ability to interpret them. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes different gifts to different people just as he chooses.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

More than most, Paul is familiar with the trials and challenges and joys and privilege of being a disciple.

To be a disciple is the greatest privilege, the way to the fulfilment of God’s gift of life and his calling of us to union with Him. It also draws us into conflict, burdens, struggles, even as we seek to serve, cooperate, enjoy the godly life.

Paul who knew the difficulties, and in many ways embodies them for us, calls us to unity.

  • How/where are you called to serve?
  • With whom?
  • How does their service help you serve?
  • How might yours better help them?

Worn Pilgrimage Way marker, Lourdes. (c) 2012, Allen Morris

Taste and See: So you can live and give thanks

Millstone and flowers

The Psalm for Mass on the 11th Sunday of the Year, in Cycle B, may have presented something of a challenge.

What was there to give thanks for?

The rather unexciting 11th Sunday, the dreary weather (at least in NW8), it had been a busy week and this day of rest was another busy day with which to begin what promises to be another busy week…

And yet, we sang…

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

The just will flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Planted in the house of the Lord
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Psalm 91:2-3,13-16

It is good to give thanks for not all is busy, repetitious or dreary. But sometimes I (we?) lose hold of that truth.

The Liturgy in word and sacrament not only reminds us of the existential truth of the goodness of creation and our life as part of that. It offers us nourishment to live life, and live love. It offers us Christ – and he is always not only the heart of humankind’s great thanksgiving to the Father, he is also the Father’s first minister to us in our needs.

  • So, for what do you want to give thanks amidst the challenges of today?

Millstone and flowers, Vence. (c) 2005, Allen Morris.