Taste and See: The Fight

war-memorial-lichfield-cathedral

As a man dedicated to God, you must aim to be saintly and religious, filled with faith and love, patient and gentle. Fight the good fight of the faith and win for yourself the eternal life to which you were called when you made your profession and spoke up for the truth in front of many witnesses.

Now, before God the source of all life and before Christ, who spoke up as a witness for the truth in front of Pontius Pilate, I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told, with no faults or failures, until the Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

who at the due time will be revealed
by God, the blessed and only Ruler of all,
the King of kings and the Lord of lords,
who alone is immortal,
whose home is in inaccessible light,
whom no man has seen and no man is able to see:
to him be honour and everlasting power. Amen.

1 Timothy 6:11-16

The second reading we heard on Sunday, the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, urges those who listen to fight the good fight.

The language of violence can lead to actions that utterly betray the Gospel of love and service. And it can lead people to extraordinary selflessness and sacrifice for the sake of love and the whole human family.

We hear the call, and hearing it take responsibility for how we answer it.

  • What is the ‘fight’ you fight today?
  • For whom?
  • Against what?
  • In what way do you fight and what does it cost you?

Bring your responses to God in prayer.

War memorial in Lichfield Cathedral. (c) 2016, Allen Morris

 

 

Taste and See: mercy

stoning-ost-stephen

The second reading on Sunday, the 24th of Ordinary Time, came from the first of St Paul’s letters to Timothy.

The passage we heard contains intensely personal words. Paul reflects on his active role in opposing the teaching of the early Church – present and assisting at the brutal killing of St Stephen – and on the mercy of God who has now drawn him to the service of the Church and to the faith.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, and who judged me faithful enough to call me into his service even though I used to be a blasphemer and did all I could to injure and discredit the faith.

Mercy, however, was shown me, because until I became a believer I had been acting in ignorance; and the grace of our Lord filled me with faith and with the love that is in Christ Jesus.

Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life.

To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Timothy 1:12-17

God is merciful, indeed. But so, of course, was the Church which received and subsequently comissioned, Paul, its former persecutor, to minister in its name.

The Church is constantly called to live to the truth of the present, rather than to dwell on past deeds. In and by the mercy of God, and with the cooperation of sinners, all things can be made new.

Salvation is God’s gift, and it is our duty and our privilege to bear witness to it, daily. The grace of God urges that we live what by his mercy we are, and not what we’ve been. We do not though forget our error or fault, but when remembered and related, it is less to our shame and far more to God’s glory in freeing us from sin.

  • How do, how should, we respond to those who do violence? Or support it?

Stoning of St Stephen, with St Paul in attendance. Vatican Museum. (c) 2016, Allen Morris