Speak Lord: our safety and help

Living Eucharist

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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…

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Taste and See: Which way, God?

Living Eucharist

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Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men…

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Tate and See: Spiritual things

Living Eucharist

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Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, always pondering spiritual things,
we may carry out in both word and deed
that which is pleasing to you.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Collect for Sunday of 7th Week in Ordinary Time

What are the spiritual things we are to ponder on?

We single out certain events in the life of Jesus and Mary, for example as Mysteries. These, like the Sacraments and the Liturgy of the Church, disclose something of the love of God and the working of grace in our lives.

But the Sacraments take the form of simple human actions – washing, a caress, eating drinking – many of them repeated many times each day; the events of the lives of Jesus and Mary – birth, death, choice of…

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Taste and See: The Word and the word

Living Eucharist

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Alleluia, alleluia!
If anyone loves me he will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we shall come to him.
Alleluia!

Jn 14:23

Those who love the Lord and seek to live from the word – which surely includes those who read this blog! – are likely to have taken comfort from the Gospel Acclamation above, sung at Mass yesterday, the Sunday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time.

Actions have consequences, and not least in our relationship with God. He will never allow our good actions to outdo his goodness!

Our attempts to respond to God’s word are surely met by his love. We are caught up into his Communion of love – his gift, our joy.

  • Where have you been surprised by the generosity of God?

Mosaic, Hagia Sophia. (c) 2002, Allen Morris

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Speak Lord: Of the Law of Love

Living Eucharist

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The Lord spoke to Moses; he said: ‘Speak to the whole community of the sons of Israel and say to them:

‘“Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.

‘“You must not bear hatred for your brother in your heart. You must openly tell him, your neighbour, of his offence; this way you will not take a sin upon yourself. You must not exact vengeance, nor must you bear a grudge against the children of your people. You must love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”’

Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18

The reading is the first reading at Mass today, the 7th Sunday in Ordinary time. It is chosen for the Lectionary because of it’s close relationship with the Gospel reading of the Day, which we prayed with on Thursday as part of our preparation for today.

Holiness is God is; but holiness is what we do.

Holiness is…

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Alpha – fresh beginnings in faith

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Fr Allen and Gary O’Brien today attended one of the Diocesan Seminars on the Alpha Course “in a Catholic context”.

Alpha seeks to introduce the basics of the Christian faith and is described by its organisers as “an opportunity to explore the meaning of life.”  In October, November and February, Catholics who are interested in running an Alpha course are being offered training  in Oxford, Staffordshire and Birmingham.

The background:

Alpha was started in 1977 at Church of England parish in London.  In 1990 the Reverend Nicky Gumbel took over the running of the course.  Alpha grew rapidly in the UK in the 1990s, from just 4 courses in 1991 to a peak in  1998, when 10,500 courses were run. It is now on offer in around one hundred and seventy countries and over one hundred languages and millions of people have taken  the course.

A previous participant in Alpha says it changed his life:

“As a cradle Catholic I drifted away from the Church but came back because I was taking my daughter to the Catholic School and felt hypocritical  if I was not taking her to Mass. I was attending in body but not Spirit. Then someone asked if we wanted to learn more about our faith and I went on an Alpha course. On 26 February 1996, on the Holy Spirit weekend, God changed my life, my wife’s life and the lives of many others in the parish. This began a process whereby we ran the course 11 times in our parish, helped found Catholic Evangelisation Services and in 2007 I was Ordained as a Permanent Deacon. I am now the volunteer Treasurer for the Diocese of Birmingham, using my talents in God’s service. I fully recommend the Alpha course for anyone who wants to understand their faith more fully, appreciate the gift of  the Church and come closer to the Love of the Father, the Person of Jesus Christ and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

The day raised lots of questions about how as a parish we might engage more and more with our vocation as Church, how we support one another in the deepening of our faith, and how we reach out to share to others the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It was an extremely well-led day, and offered a very positive and hopeful experience.

If you are interested in learning more, please speak with Gary or Fr Allen

Speak Lord: Spring of mercy…

Living Eucharist

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The Lord is compassion and love.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord
all my being, bless his holy name.
My soul, give thanks to the Lord
and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt,
who heals every one of your ills,
who redeems your life from the grave,
who crowns you with love and compassion.

The Lord is compassion and love,
slow to anger and rich in mercy.
He does not treat us according to our sins
nor repay us according to our faults.

As far as the east is from the west
so far does he remove our sins.
As a father has compassion on his sons,
the Lord has pity on those who fear him.

Psalm 102(103):1-4,8,10,12-13

The psalm above is that which we will sing at Mass on Sunday, tomorrow, the 7th SUnday in Ordinary Time.

It speaks of mercy. As…

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Speak Lord: Build us up

Living Eucharist

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Didn’t you realise that you were God’s temple and that the Spirit of God was living among you? If anybody should destroy the temple of God, God will destroy him, because the temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.

Make no mistake about it: if any one of you thinks of himself as wise, in the ordinary sense of the word, then he must learn to be a fool before he really can be wise. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As scripture says: The Lord knows wise men’s thoughts: he knows how useless they are; or again: God is not convinced by the arguments of the wise. So there is nothing to boast about in anything human: Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life and death, the present and the future, are all your servants; but you belong to Christ and Christ…

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Speak Lord: Of perfection

Living Eucharist

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Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said: Eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I say this to you: offer the wicked man no resistance. On the contrary, if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well; if a man takes you to law and would have your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone orders you to go one mile, go two miles with him. Give to anyone who asks, and if anyone wants to borrow, do not turn away.

 ‘You have learnt how it was said: You must love your neighbour and hate your enemy. But I say this to you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; in this way you will be sons of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on bad men…

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