Speak Lord: Lord of Glory

Egypt Christ in Glory

The Second reading on Sunday, the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, comes from the letter to the Colossians.

We leave behind the letter to the Galatians – source of second reading over past weeks – but remain withn the corpus of Paul’s letters, or at least a letter traditionally associated with him, and which is in accord with his teaching.

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God
and the first-born of all creation,
for in him were created
all things in heaven and on earth:
everything visible and everything invisible,
Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.
Before anything was created, he existed,
and he holds all things in unity.
Now the Church is his body,
he is its head.

As he is the Beginning,
he was first to be born from the dead,
so that he should be first in every way;
because God wanted all perfection
to be found in him
and all things to be reconciled through him and for him,
everything in heaven and everything on earth,
when he made peace
by his death on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20

Whether or not the rest of the Letter is to the Colossians was written by Paul this particular passage quite probably is not from him. It seems to be a liturgical hymn that he quotes approvingly – a hymn that celebrates the cosmic Christ.

Typically Paul focuses on the Cross and the Passion, but here the focus is more akin to the Prologue of John’s Gospel, on the transcendence and the divinty of the Second person of the Trinity who is perfectly united with the human person of Jesus.

Whoever it was who wrote Colossians, here they warmly embrace this poetic expression of the glory of Christ, before all time and before all things, and by whom all time, all things are created.

This God of glory comes to us – as our Good Samaritan – to bind our wounds and guide us to safety and health eternal.

  • Spend some time in contemplation of the Glory of Christ.
  • Give thanks for his mercy and love.

Christ in Glory, Church and St Mina Monastery, Alexandria, Egypt. (c) 2004, Allen Morris.

 

Taste and See: The best is yet to come

Sundial ChartresThe post Communion Prayer at Mass yesterday, the Solemnity of All Saints, reminds that for all the effort we put into the worthy celebration of Mass, and that we should put into our own worthy participation in the Mass, Mass is a passing thing.

Prayer after Communion

As we adore you, O God, who alone are holy
and wonderful in all your Saints,
we implore your grace,
so that, coming to perfect holiness in the fullness of your love,
we may pass from this pilgrim table
to the banquet of our heavenly homeland.
Through Christ our Lord.

Here we are passing creatures, called on to the heavenly Jerusalem, the home of all saints. Here we stumble, too often: there we are, please God, and by the grace of God, to be raised to glory with all the saints. And in heaven, as the Church teaches, there are no Sacraments for in heaven Christ is there directly without the mediation of sign and (sacramental) symbol. We will behold him face to face.

The Post Communion prayer looks back in gratitude for the table and nourishment that sustains the pilgrim on the journey, but also is part of that propelling us to the mission to love and serve which belongs to each Christian. The life of loving virtue here on earth also has its part in helping us to heaven.

  • What additional good deed might you do today, simply in thanksgiving for the gracious and real gift of Himself that Christ gives us at Mass?
  • How today can you demonstrate (again) that you do not live for this world only, but for the greater that is yet to come?

The sundial at Chartres measures something else that ceases as we enter the glory of heaven. There eternity reigns, there is no time. Photograph (c) 2012, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Speak of your glory, help us to praise your glory.

Image

You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
Blest your glorious holy name.
To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest in the temple of your glory.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
To you glory and praise for evermore.

You are blest who gaze into the depths.
To you glory and praise for evermore.
You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
To you glory and praise for evermore.

Daniel 3:52-55

  • For what do you give glory to God?
  • Why?

This song, this prayer, is  that of the three young men  condemned to death by Nebuchadnezzar but preserved by God from the heat of the furnace into which they were cast. The passage is a part of the Bible in the Catholic tradition, but not in the Protestant tradition. The text is in the ancient Greek Septuagint but not the Masoretic text which is the basis of the Jewish Bible today.

A fuller version of the song is regularly used in the Church’s morning prayer on significant feast days, such as this Sunday, Trinity Sunday.

O all you works of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
And you, angels of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, the heavens of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
And you, clouds of the sky, O bless the Lord.
And you, all armies of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, sun and moon, O bless the Lord.
And you, the stars of the heavens, O bless the Lord.
And you, showers and rain, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, all you breezes and winds, O bless the Lord.
And you, fire and heat, O bless the Lord.
And you, cold and heat, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, showers and dew, O bless the Lord.
And you, frosts and cold, O bless the Lord.
And you, frost and snow, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, night-time and day, O bless the Lord.
And you, darkness and light, O bless the Lord.
And you, lightning and clouds, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

O let the earth bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, mountains and hills, O bless the Lord.
And you, all plants of the earth, O bless the Lord.
And you, fountains and springs, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, rivers and seas, O bless the Lord.
And you, creatures of the sea, O bless the Lord.
And you, every bird in the sky, O bless the Lord.
And you, wild beasts and tame, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, children of men, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

O Israel, bless the Lord, O bless the Lord.
And you, priests of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
And you, servants of the Lord, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

And you, spirits and souls of the just, O bless the Lord.
And you, holy and humble of heart, O bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mizael, O bless the Lord.
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.

Let us praise the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit:
To him be highest glory and praise for ever.
May you be blessed, O Lord, in the heavens:
To you be highest glory and praise for ever.

Daniel 3:57-88,56