Speak Lord: Love

DSC01767 poor.jpg

Thus says the Lord:

Share your bread with the hungry,
and shelter the homeless poor,
clothe the man you see to be naked
and do not turn from your own kin.
Then will your light shine like the dawn
and your wound be quickly healed over.

Your integrity will go before you
and the glory of the Lord behind you.
Cry, and the Lord will answer;
call, and he will say, ‘I am here.’

If you do away with the yoke,
the clenched fist, the wicked word,
if you give your bread to the hungry,
and relief to the oppressed,
your light will rise in the darkness,
and your shadows become like noon.

Isaiah 58:7-10

The First reading at Mass today, the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time, prepares us for the Gospel – we are not to be passive in the face of need. On the contrary we are to be the salt that brings about the fire of change, the light that helps people see what is right.

And the way we best do this is the way of love. We may be moved to passion, but we are not to respond with anger and wage war against evil and want. We need to let go of the violence – in action and in word – but simply to respond generously with ourselves and what we have. Make love not war…

  • What might you do today?

Studio of Luca della Robbia: Jesus comforts a poor man. In the collection of the Louvre, Paris. Photograph (c) 2017, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Poor One, Humble One.

PovertyThe psalm at Mass tomorrow, the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, echoes the theme of the first reading, and prepares us for hearing the Gospel which extends the same theme. The theme? Care for the poor; solidarity within the human family; personal humility and attentiveness to the situation of others. As God is, so we are called to be…

In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.

The just shall rejoice at the presence of God,
they shall exult and dance for joy.
O sing to the Lord, make music to his name;
rejoice in the Lord, exult at his presence.

In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.

Father of the orphan, defender of the widow,
such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in;
he leads the prisoners forth into freedom:

In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.

You poured down, O God, a generous rain:
when your people were starved you gave them new life.
It was there that your people found a home,
prepared in your goodness, O God, for the poor.

In your goodness, O God, you prepared a home for the poor.

Psalm 67:4-7,10-11

  • Who are the poor and the needy who you have already ‘registered’? How have you responded to their need?
  • Who might be the poor and needy you have not noticed. Try looking for them as you go about your daily business today – in the shops, in the park, in your street, at church. How might you reach out to them?

Stained glass from Shrewbury Cathedral. (c) 2016, Allen Morris.