Speak Lord: Good Lord, speak…

Taberancle EvryThe Psalm on the 4th Sunday of Lent enjoins us to ‘Taste and see that the Lord is good’.

Taste  and see that the Lord is good.

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.
The humble shall hear and be glad.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Glorify the Lord with me.
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called, the Lord heard him
and rescued him from all his distress.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Psalm 33:2-7

In the Gospel we hear at Mass on Sunday – the parable of the Prodigal Son – the Prodigal has a range of hungers: for his inheritance; for wine, women and song; for pig swill even. His cravings beggar him.

It seems only in his return to his father does he find the feast that is worthy of him, albeit a feast of which he himself may not be worthy. And yet it is a feast  which his father freely and joyfully provides to welcome home his son.

In our Mass the Lord himself provides the feast to welcome us home, makes himself the feast at which we are reconciled, kept safe from sin, and welcomed home.

Taste and see that the Lord is good…

  • What of the goodness of the Lord most impresses you?
  • How do you seek to imitate or otherwise respond to that goodness in your life?

Tabernacle, Evry, France. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: with compassion and mercy

Cathedrale font

The Second reading on Sunday, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, speaks of the revelation of God’s mercy, and what makes for a good life.

God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race and taught us that what we have to do is to give up everything that does not lead to God, and all our worldly ambitions; we must be self-restrained and live good and religious lives here in this present world, while we are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Christ Jesus. He sacrificed himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people so that it could be his very own and would have no ambition except to do good.

But when the kindness and love of God our saviour for mankind were revealed, it was not because he was concerned with any righteous actions we might have done ourselves; it was for no reason except his own compassion that he saved us, by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and by renewing us with the Holy Spirit which he has so generously poured over us through Jesus Christ our saviour. He did this so that we should be justified by his grace, to become heirs looking forward to inheriting eternal life.

Titus 2:11-14,3:4-7

Paul tells us God saves us for no reason other than his compassion – his desire for our well-being, a well-being that is otherwise compromised and in jeopardy.

If we believe this then surely we see also that we have a responsibility to those who do not know of the salvation, hope and newness that God offers to win us for life. They lack it, and we can share it with them. For this reason Pope Francis has called the Year of Mercy.

  • How are you playing your own part in the work of the Year?

The font, Cathédrale de la Résurrection d’Évry. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Living Word, make us alive and active

Word and Eucharist

The second reading at Mass this coming Sunday, the 28th of Ordinary time, comes from the Letter to the Hebrews.

It is a powerful affirmation of the virtue of the Scriptures, enabling us to learn to live faithfully, to acquire the authentic Christian spirit.

The word of God is something alive and active: it cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts. No created thing can hide from him; everything is uncovered and open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves.

Hebrews 4:12-13

It can sometimes be shaming to think there is nothing we can hide, but it is also always, ultimately, a huge relief. Especially when the one who knows all, love us in our entirety and wants to help us to the best.

  • Pray for faith and trust
  • Give thanks for the hope God gives.

Photograph from Day Chapel in the  Cathédrale de la Résurrection, Evry, France. (c) 2014, Allen Morris.

Taste and See: Sharing the meal

Evry 2

The second reading  at Mass, on the Sunday of week 5 in Ordinary time, came from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.

I do not boast of preaching the gospel, since it is a duty which has been laid on me; I should be punished if I did not preach it! If I had chosen this work myself, I might have been paid for it, but as I have not, it is a responsibility which has been put into my hands. Do you know what my reward is? It is this: in my preaching, to be able to offer the Good News free, and not insist on the rights which the gospel gives me.

So though I am not a slave of any man I have made myself the slave of everyone so as to win as many as I could. For the weak I made myself weak. I made myself all things to all men in order to save some at any cost; and I still do this, for the sake of the gospel, to have a share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:16-19,22-23

Paul’s life has been changed by the Gospel. Now he makes of himself servant to invite others to come to find nourishment and newness in the gift of the Risen Lord.

Once an obstacle for believers, now he strives to be the opposite.

In our words, in our actions, the same calling is ours: the same privilege. Putting self second, or third, or fourth, to assist others to the glorious love and compassion of God

Photograph is of the Blessed Sacrament chapel, Cathedral of Evry, France. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.