Speak Lord: our safety and help

 

DSC03042 sparrow.jpg

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.

‘That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food, and the body more than clothing! Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they are? Can any of you, for all his worrying, add one single cubit to his span of life? And why worry about clothing? Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you men of little faith? So do not worry; do not say, “What are we to eat? What are we to drink? How are we to be clothed?” It is the pagans who set their hearts on all these things. Your heavenly Father knows you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’

Matthew 6:24-34

Sunday is the Sunday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time. However that week is cut short on Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, when the season of Lent begins.

This Sunday’s Gospel is a good preparation for the season of Lent. It invites us, helps us, to look to ourselves and see where comes the motivation for our actions, what sets our priorities.

The motivation for Jesus – and the motivation he presses us to make our own – is love of the Father who loves us. From this all things flow… Jesus finds his everything is gift from the Father, and enables his love for his neighbour. In the Father’s love Jesus finds the security that allows him to live lovingly, daringly.

He extends his hand to us, and offers to help us live the same way…

Sparrow: Alhambra, Granada. (c) 2014, Allen Morris

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Taste and see: sing the praise of the God who loves you.

sparrow in the Alhambra, Granada

The Roman Missal offered two alternative Communion antiphons for Mass this Sunday.

Here is one of them:

The sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for her young:
by your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Blessed are they who dwell in your house,
for ever singing your praise.
Cf. Ps 83: 4-5

The particular sparrow featured in the picture had found his home in the glorious Courtyard of the Lions, in the Alhamabra, Granada.

Court of the Lions

Court of the Lions 2

Conservators may have problem with the sparrow making its home amidst such splendour, but most of the rest of us find it a delightful sight. Just like the psalmist did, seeing in the incongruence something of the surprising delight God takes in us.

Rejoice in your littleness, and your contingence, Beloved of God.

sparrow in the Alhambra, Granada

 

Photographs (c) Allen Morris, 2014