Speak Lord: Of your blessing

Murillo TrinityThe Psalm for Mass tomorrow extols family life, happy family life. In the unity and fruitfulness of the relationships within the ‘good’ family are echoed the unity and fruitfulness that is the Creator’s intention for the relationship of Creation and Creator.

A key element in Jesus’ urging a renewal of faith on his generation, and his manifesting the graciousness of God through his actions, was the teaching of God as Father, Abba. When children or spouse mess up and fail it is to Abba we turn for healing and hope.

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

O blessed are those who fear the Lord
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be happy and prosper.

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive,
around your table.

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion
in a happy Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children.
On Israel, peace!

May the Lord bless us all the days of our life.

Psalm 127:1-5

The Synod on the Family, being held in Rome, begins tomorrow in Rome. Its topic “The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World.” For more information click here.

The family is a vital part of society. Healthy happy families fulfilling their potential helps to the flourishing of society – the love engendered in the family providing a seedbed for the necessary works for the common good that need a broader social base.

Unhealthy families make for an unhealthy society. And sometimes families are made unhealthy by an unhealthy society. Chicken-and-egg questions go on and on by there is clearly a certain reciprocity family/society and society/family.

The Church is a family established to serve the common good, to help people by the Son to know the Father and in that knowledge expressed as love to find healing and hope, the means to whatever conversion is needed.

The invitation to all of us is to ever deeper communion with the Church, to more deliberate choosing of what is right and good, for us and those others God loves. God’s Spirit seeks to draw us to that. The rest of us need to strive to do what best we can, and not to hinder.

  • Pray for the Synod of Bishops.
  • Pray for the Church.
  • Pray for families and all their members.

The Holy Families. Murillo. Collection of the National Gallery, London.

Taste and See: the family of God

Murillo Trinity

The Psalm for Trinity Sunday, the first day of this week, expresses thanks for the way that God incorporates the human family into his triune life.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

For the word of the Lord is faithful
and all his works to be trusted.
The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

By his word the heavens were made,
by the breath of his mouth all the stars.
He spoke; and it came to be.
He commanded; it sprang into being.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,
on those who hope in his love,
to rescue their souls from death,
to keep them alive in famine.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.
The Lord is our help and our shield.
May your love be upon us, O Lord,
as we place all our hope in you.

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.

Psalm 32:4-6,9,18-20,22

As the psalmist acknowledges, we place our hope in God.

God, also, places hope in us. How will you seek to live this day, to justify that hope?

Image: Murillo, The two Trinities, in the collection of the National Gallery, London.

Speak Lord: Of thankfulness, love and care

murillo-heavenly-earthly-trinities-NG13-fm

The Sunday after Christmas Day is kept as the feast of the Holy Family. The celebration of the birth of Jesus, of God taking flesh is not sufficient to itself but includes humankind indeed is intended to extend to all humankind.

You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful.
Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Wives, give way to your husbands, as you should in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and treat them with gentleness. Children, be obedient to your parents always, because that is what will please the Lord. Parents, never drive your children to resentment or you will make them feel frustrated.

Colossians 3:12-21

The Holy Family formed on earth, the first community of love to form around Jesus here, is an echo of that profound communion of love in heaven that is the Holy Trinity.

  • What are the communities of love of which you know yourself to be a privileged part of?
  • To whom can you extend the call of love today?

The painting of the earthly and heavenly trinities is by Murillo and in London’s National Gallery. For more information click here.