Taste and See: The Kingdom

mystery-of-the-light-kingdomIt is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.

For you anointed your Only Begotten Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ, with the oil of gladness
as eternal Priest and King of all creation,
so that, by offering himself on the altar of the Cross
as a spotless sacrifice to bring us peace,
he might accomplish the mysteries of  human redemption
and, making all created things subject to his rule,
he might present to the immensity of your majesty
an eternal and universal kingdom,
a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory,
as without end we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts . . .

Sunday was the feast of Christ the King, and the beginning of the 34th week in Ordinary Time. It was also the beginning of the last week of the Church’s year.

The Preface of the Day, above, is a song of thanksgiving to the Father for Jesus and the Kingdom

Jesus’ ministry began with a proclamation of the nearness of the Kingdom of God and at the Year’s end, and the Year of Mercy we recall the nature of that kingdom. It is so different to at least some current tendencies with regard to the kingdoms of this world.

And yet, as Jesus said, this kingdom,

a kingdom of truth and life,
a kingdom of holiness and grace,
a kingdom of justice, love and peace.

is close at hand, and we have but to want it and keep trying to live it, and then – by God’s grace – we are there, blessed citizens of his kingdom.

  • What kingdom value seems most under threat?
  • How might you support and witness to its worth?

Jesus preaches the kingdom. Medjugorje. (c) 2015, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Source of living waters

Crossof life

The Psalm at Mass tomorrow, the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, speaks of a yearning for God: a longing for the one who alone can satisfy the deepest needs of the human person.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

For you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord my God.

Psalm 62:2-6,8-9

Many and delightful are the other created goods which God provides for our well-being; still more are the relationships and the products of human culture than can enrich our lives.

And yet each of these are founded on God and his being. Ultimately it is in and from God that they find their truest meaning. And without our recognising this and making that part of our appreciation of them (and God!) they can become a source of distress and grief, draining from us authentic life and love. It is because of this that God and God’s love is better than life: No God no life, but in God life and goodness without end.

  • For what, today, do you give thanks?

The Cross and flowing waters. Medjugorje. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

The first Joyful Mystery

Annunciation

Praying the Rosary in October

MYSTERY: the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38)  Mary 2B Mother of Jesus? INTENTION: Pray 4 all mothers & unborn children

Image from the Rosary Stations, Hill of Apparitions, Medjugorje. (c) 2014, Allen Morris

Taste and See: admitting our faults…

Ascension stare

The first reading on Ascension Sunday was the first verses of one of the Church’s ‘Easter’ books, the Acts of the Apostles.

In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done and taught from the beginning until the day he gave his instructions to the apostles he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was taken up to heaven. He had shown himself alive to them after his Passion by many demonstrations: for forty days he had continued to appear to them and tell them about the kingdom of God. When he had been at table with them, he had told them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for what the Father had promised. ‘It is’ he had said ‘what you have heard me speak about: John baptised with water but you, not many days from now, will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’

Now having met together, they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know times or dates that the Father has decided by his own authority, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem but throughout Judaea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth.’

As he said this he was lifted up while they looked on, and a cloud took him from their sight. They were still staring into the sky when suddenly two men in white were standing near them and they said, ‘Why are you men from Galilee standing here looking into the sky? Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven, this same Jesus will come back in the same way as you have seen him go there.’

Acts 1:1-11

The disciples are privileged in being so close to the Lord, but in their being transfixed, gawping, they do not present so admirable a set of figures.

But probably neither do we, on many occasions.

Christians are greatly privileged in many ways, but we also have our faults and flaws, as individuals and as communities. They are probably unavoidable, at least this side of heaven, and if they keep us humble, they probably serve us well, as we seek to serve others.

The Ascension, Medjugorge, Apparations Hill

  • What are your abiding faults?
  • How do they assist you in your sharing in the Lord’s mission?
  • How do they hamper you?

Photographs are details of the Rosary Station: The Ascension (Hill of the Apparitions, Medjugorje). (c) 2014, Allen Morris

Speak Lord: Call us, your children…

Eucharist

The Second reading on Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter, comes from the 1st letter of St John. It calls us to be awake and alert to all God has done for us.

Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.

1 John 3:1-2

As with most families what helps us to be who we are and to become who we are to become happens as we share in the family meals and the family stories. These can limit us and constrain us, or open our hearts, minds and lives to the newness that is available to us.

  • At Mass are you closed down or opened up by what takes place?
  • How can you better play your part in helping that sacrament of word and symbolic action more fully engage you and others, and help you to the newness and the dignity proper to the children of God?

Photograph of station of Mystery of Institution of the Eucharist, Medjugorje. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.