Taste and See: Caritas

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You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly or Alleluia!

My vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall have their fill.
They shall praise the Lord, those who seek him.
May their hearts live for ever and ever!

You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly or Alleluia!

All the earth shall remember and return to the Lord,
all families of the nations worship before him;
They shall worship him, all the mighty of the earth;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust.

You, Lord, are my praise in the great assembly or Alleluia!

And my soul shall live for him, my children serve him.
They shall tell of the Lord to generations yet to come,
declare his faithfulness to peoples yet unborn:
‘These things the Lord has done.’

Responsorial Psalm for the 5th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 21(22):26-28,30-32

Love provokes love in response; love shares love with others.

The circle is generating and regenerating. Until, sometimes, one breaks it, and then resentment, hurt, prejudice multiply.

Doing what we can will always make a difference.

Shelves for Charity Bread, St Mary’s Warwick. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: Love

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By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God,
may we walk eagerly in that same charity
with which, out of love for the world,
your Son handed himself over to death.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Collect at Mass on Sunday reminds of the simple truth that lies at the heart of, that is the motive of the Paschal Mystery – God is love, and, still more to the point, God is love for us.

As we prepare to enter into Holy Week, that thought is something to take to heart. We should hold it close as we learn afresh from the story of the Passion, the violence humankind does to God and man.

Charity. Tewkesbury Abbey. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: Love

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Prayer after Communion

We have partaken of the gifts of this sacred mystery,
humbly imploring, O Lord,
that what your Son commanded us to do
in memory of him
may bring us growth in charity.
Through Christ our Lord.

The Prayer after Communion at Mass on Sunday reminded of the final end, the purpose, of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. It makes present Christ’s love and life, his very person, in order that we might be changed, drawn into lived communion with him.

We are invited to learn to love as he loves. And for benefit of our learning he gives himself to us.

  • What does it feel like to be so loved?
  • Where might you next share the Lord’s love?

Charity. Shrewsbury Cathedral. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Taste and Faith: Faith, hope and ?

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Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

The Collect at Mass on Sunday, the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, reminds us of the virtues of faith, hope and love.

Those virtues are still most commonly known in Catholic discourse as faith., hope and love. The trio comes from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians – the famous hymn to love of 1 Corinthians 13. But the trio has been rendered differently in the most recent translation of the Missal the Greek work ‘agape’ is translated into Latin as ‘caritas‘, and that word is now rendered in the Missal bythe cognate word ‘charity’.

Interestingly in the new Scripture translation proposed by the Bishops of England and Wales for our use at Mass – Revised Standard Version, 2nd Catholic edition, 2010 – it seems that in 1 Corinthians 13 ‘agape’ will continue to be translated as ‘love’.

Be that as it may, the alternative translation used in the Missal for the present makes us pause and ponder what is meant by ‘charity’, and indeed by ‘love’. No bad thing, for both words come under stress and strain in our everyday talk – as perhaps they ever have and will, until we possess and live them fully in Christ.

That increase in all three virtues is what we prayed for on Sunday, and it remains a fitting prayer for today also.

  • In what way do you hope for your faith to be increased? And your hope? And your charity?

Faith, Hope and Charity. Tewkesbury Abbey. (c) 2016, Allen Morris

Taste and See: Charity

St Vincent de PaulThe Prayer after Communion after Communion on Sunday, the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, recovered the urgings to love and service that were so strong a feature of the Liturgy of the Word. It reminds, too, of the reciprocity that the Eucharist is intended to enable.

God loves and serves us, even in our worship of him, so that we might be best enabled to love and serve others.

Renewed by this bread from the heavenly table,
we beseech you, Lord,
that, being the food of charity,
it may confirm our hearts
and stir us to serve you in our neighbour.
Through Christ our Lord.

  • Where how does your parish community engage in the works of charity?
  • How do you associate yourself with these?
  • In what way does your family live love for neighbour?

St Vincent de Paul, Church of St Nicolas, Nantes. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Of the way of humility

Canon T. Major LesterThe Gospel reading on Sunday, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, invites us to humility, and an openness to those who are regularly marginalised.

The Kingdom has rules and perspectives very different to those of the world.

On a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour.

He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

Luke 14:1,7-14

  • To whom do you feel ‘superior’? What might you have to learn from them? What might you do for their benefit?
  • To whom do you feel inferior? What might you have to teach them? How might you do that?

Detail of Memorial to Canon T. Major Lester, St John’s Garden, Liverpool. (c) 2007, Allen Morris