This blog is for the use of the whole parish; please let me know if you'd like to contribute.


Chris (email link at the bottom of each page)

The Holy Trinity

Permalink

 

Photo by Thaï Ch. Hamelin / ChokdiDesign on Unsplash

Sunday 30 May (B) (Solemnity) The Holy Trinity. Matthew 28:16-20

In today's reading Jesus confirms that there are three Persons in one God. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. We are sent out as evangelisers, as apostles and witnesses of Christ because we are baptised into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Some protest that they can't get their mind around the Trinity. Thank God, we never will! As St Augustine once said: If you can fathom it – it's not God. Having said that, we can, the essence of faith, the heart of with the help of the Holy Spirit, get our minds into the Trinity and penetrate the mystery, light and wisdom of the Godhead.

Paul encouraged the believers at Ephesus to do just this – perhaps we could adopt the prayer he gave them as our Trinity Sunday prayer: 

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:14-19). “

What a powerful and utterly wonderful prayer! God wants us to enter into the mystery of who he is. The essence of being a Christian is knowing God; when we know God, we want to love and serve others. The Trinity is not a dry, unreachable, ancient dogma – no, on the contrary, it is belief. God wants us to get excited today about the mystery that God is Three-in-One.

In a profound and moving hymn of praise Dionysius the Areopagite wrote:

Trinity! Higher than any being, any divinity, any goodness! Guide of Christians in the wisdom of heaven!

Lead us up beyond unknowing and light, up to the farthest, highest peak of mystic scripture, where the mysteries of God's Word lie simple, absolute and unchangeable in the brilliant darkness of a hidden silence. Amid the deepest shadow they pour overwhelming light on what is most manifest. Amid the wholly unsensed and unseen they completely fill our sightless minds with treasures beyond all beauty.

Chris

from Bible Alive

 

Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40 • Psalm 32(33):4-6, 9, 18-20 • Romans 8:14-17 • Matthew 28:16-20

Comments

The Parable of the Talents

Permalink

Proverbs 31:10–13, 19–20, 30–31 • Psalm 127(128):1–5 • 1 Thessalonians 5:1–6 • Matthew 25:14–30

 
Three hands with talents
 
In the ancient world a talent wasn’t a coin but a unit of weight of about 80 lb or 36 kg. However, when used as a currency its weight was not assessed in gold but in silver, and one talent was worth something in the region of 6000 denarii. Since in the Middle East in the first century one denarius was a day’s pay for a labourer, 6000 denarii divided by 365 (the number of days in a year) would have been a little less than 16 ½  years’ pay. So the servant with 5 talents was given something in the region of £2 million – the amount of money we are dealing with here is colossal and definitely life-changing. Imagine how Jesus’s first hearers must have smiled when they heard this parable, rather as we do when, for a bit of fun, we imagine what we would do if we won the lottery.

One of the interesting things about the parable, and sometimes overlooked, is that back then, believe it or not, the notion of making loads of money wasn’t as lauded and applauded as it is today. People traded to survive, not to make a killing, and business (in the way we understand it today) was viewed in much the same light as prostitution and exploitation.  Nevertheless, the Jews were known as shrewd business people and canny investors.

Now clearly the parable isn’t simply about the benefits of making a return on an investment versus burying your capital and not even making any interest. Nor is it simply about using our God-given natural talents to bless our friends and neighbours, for example – there is no reward (return) in that (Matt. 5:46). No, the talents or gifts are primarily spiritual gifts: the charisms, graces, blessings and fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are worth far more than gold (1 Pet. 1:7). We are eagerly (yes, eagerly) to desire the spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy (1 Cor. 14:1).  We are not to be ignorant about the spiritual gifts (like the servant who buried his talent). There are different kinds of gift (talents) given by the Spirit: the message of wisdom or knowledge, the gift of healing, miraculous powers, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues and the interpretation 0f tongues (1 (Cor. 12:1–11).

 Lord, thank you for the gifts of your Spirit.  Help us to use our gifts for the building up of the Church to the glory of God.

Chris 

From Bible Alive

 

 

 

Comments

Jesus and the Pharisees

Permalink
Luke 13:10–17


Today’s Scripture packs two strikingly different ideas into one reading: healing and hypocrisy. The healing is of a woman who had been crippled for eighieen years, and the hypocrisy is on the part of a synagogue official who cannot see what is happening right before his eyes – a woman being miraculously freed from her terrible pain and suffering. The synagogue ruler had been too crippled by the letter of the law to recognize the true spirit of the law.


The Pharisees allowed animals to be taken care of on the Sabbath (see Luke 14:5), so why should they begrudge a sick woman this extraordinary and wonderful gift of God? Such harsh, legalistic and quite frankly mean behaviour from so-called religious people is staggering, isn’t it? What had happened to their understanding of God and their understanding of the dignity of the human person to make them think like this?


Yet it is perhaps too easy to be judgemental and harsh towards the Pharisees. We can find ourselves saying to God, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like these Pharisees because I would not let myself become so confused and legalistic that I applied the letter and not the spirit of the law.’ To think like this is, of course, to have fallen into the same trap! Make no mistake, Jesus loved the Pharisees – it is obvious from his eagerness to correct their thinking.


To live in the Spirit we need to be very clear about two things: the first is that God loves everybody, and the second is that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God and God wants the best for everybody. The Pharisees made the error of assuming they knew how God thought, but they could not have been more wrong. Jesus came to set us all free because we all need to be set free. The Pharisees’ religion had made them narrow-minded and mean-spirited, whereas the Spirit makes us big-hearted and generous. The Pharisees’ religion had made them hypocrites (a very real tension for all religious people), but the Spirit convicts us of our sin and makes us grateful and forgiven sinners in continual need of God’s healing and mercy.


The all-sufficient Physician of humanity, the Saviour, heals both body and soul.  (St Clement of Alexandria)


Chris


From Bible Alive


Ephesians 4:32-56 • Psalm 1:1–6 • Luke 13:10–17


Comments

Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath

Permalink

1 Corinthians 4:6–15 • Psalm 144(145): 17–21 • Luke 6:1–5

 

Cornfield with sun shining, ears of corn visible

Jesus didn’t come to challenge the status quo or upset the apple cart only a little — his wasn’t a slowly, slowly approach. He came to turn the world upside down, to usher in a radically new and different way of thinking. Between Jesus and the Pharisees there was a huge gulf about how they understood the Sabbath. The Pharisees, always eagle-eyed, spotted the disciples of Jesus walking through the grain fields and picking ears of grain. Harmless enough, you would imagine — rather like picking blackberries on a country walk! Yet the Pharisees jumped on this human and harmless activity as breaking the Sabbath and not keeping it holy (set apart).

The commandment to keep the Sabbath holy was a revelation of God’s mercy and liberation. The Sabbath was a day to rejoice in God’s gift of creation. The injunction to refrain from work was a protection ensuring that workers were not forced into slavery by being made to work seven days a week. To rest on the Sabbath is an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the fruit of our labours and to acknowledge it all as God’s gift. 

The Sabbath reminds us that in the end we are not self-sufficient: we depend Upon God’s loving goodness and mercy; It is God who gives created things their capacity to grow and multiply. We cannot create anything out of nothing! We have been given the ability to harness to our advantage the natural resources which God has given us and on which we depend.

Jesus refers to an incident in the Old Testament when King David entered the temple and took the consecrated bread to feed his men, even though the law reserved it for the priests alone. The showbread was a symbol of the covenant between God and the people of Israel. Left in the presence of God, the bread revealed God’s desire to commune with his people. Normally consumed by the priests each week, on this one occasion it was used by David and his men at a time of need. By speaking of this incident Jesus is revealing the hidden reality that his own presence among his disciples brought to fulfilment what the showbread had symbolized: God communing with his people — making it a time to feast, not fast!

Blessed are thase called to the supper fo the Lamb who feed on the Bread of Life and who live not by the letter but by the Spirit of the law.

Chris

 
Comments

Have Mercy on me, O God

Permalink
Psalms 51 (NIV)
 

From: https://heathercking.org/2016/01/20/the-grace-god-gives-for-the-wearied-soul/

 

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your unfailing love;

according to your great compassion

blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash away all my iniquity

and cleanse me from my sin.

 

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil in your sight;

so you are right in your verdict

and justified when you judge.

5 Surely I was sinful at birth,

sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;

you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

 

7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins

and blot out all my iniquity.

 

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,

and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me from your presence

or take your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation

and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

 

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

so that sinners will turn back to you.

14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,

you who are God my Saviour,

and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

15 Open my lips, Lord,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

17 My sacrifice, O God, is51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart

you, God, will not despise.

 

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,

to build up the walls of Jerusalem.

19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,

in burnt offerings offered whole;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Comments
Acts
Adult Education
Advent
alms
angel
angels
anger
annunciation
answer
Apocalypse
apostles
apostolic
archbishops
ascension
ask
atonement
banquet
beatitudes
bishop
bishops
Blessed
blessings
blind
blood
body
brokenness
burden
CAFOD
care
chances
change
charity
Children
Christ
Christian
Christian Aid
Christ the King
church
Churches Together in Biggleswade
cleanse
comfort
coming
commitment
compassion
Conference
contemplation
conversion
coordinator
Coronavirus
courage
covenant
COVID-19
cross
cure
daily bread
Damascus
death
death to self
delight
desert
diocese
disciples
divine
Divine Office
divine work
divinity
Dominicans
doubt
Downside
earthly matters
Easter
eat
effort
encouragement
end-time
enemy
equality
eternal
Eucharist
evangelise
evil
example
fairness
faith
faithfulness
fasting
Father
faults
fear
fear of God
feed
fever
fiat
find God
food
foretold
forgive
forgiveness
foundations
fountains
Francis
free
fruit
fruitfulness
Fund-raising
future
Gabriel
gentle
gift
giving
glory
God
God's
God's Plan
God's will
God-man
Godhead
Golden Rule
good
gospel
grace
gratitude
greatness
heal
healing
health
heaven
heavenly matters
High Priest
Holy Spirit
Holy Week
Holy_Spirit
homeless
hope
Hosea
humble
humility
hypocrisy
I AM
immortality
incarnation
In Jesus's Name
innocence
insight
Internet
jealousy
Jesus
joy
justice
Justice and Peace
kindness
King
King David
kingdom
knowing
knowledge
law
Lent
leprosy
life
light
live streaming
living
Lord
Lord's Prayer
lost
love
Magi
maranatha
martyr
Mass
Matthew
meditation
mercy
Messiah
mindfulness
Ministries
miracle
miracles
mountains
mystery
mysticism
name
narrow path
Nazereth
neighbour
new creation
new life
New Testament
New Year
Nineveh
None
obedience
Old Testament
OneWorld
online
Organisation
Our Lady
outcast
outcasts
Palm Sunday
parable
Parish
Parish Youth
Passion
Paul
peace
penance
perfect
perfection
Peter
Pilgrimage
pity
poor
Pope
power
praise
prayer
Prayers
preparation
proclamation
promise
prophesy
prophet
protection
question
recovery
reflection
refugee
rejects
renewal
repentance
rest
resurrection
revelation
righteiousness
righteousness
risen
Rock
Rolheiser
Sabbath
Sacraments
sacrifice
Sadducees
Safety
salvation
Satan
save
Saviour
sayittogod
second
Second Coming
seed
self-sacrifice
sent
sermon
serve
service
sheep
shepherd
signs
silence
sin
sinfulness
Social
Solomon
Son
soul
sower
spirit
Spiritual
St Benedict
steadfast
Stephen
stoning
storm
storms
strength
struggle
suffering
SVP
talents
teaching
temptation
The Cross
time for God
today
transgressions
Trinity
trust
truth
understanding
unity
unworthy
victory
vine
vinedresser
vineyard
virgin
Visits
walk
watchful
water
Website
will
Witness
women
Word
work
World
worship
yearn
Year of Faith
yoke
You
RSS Feed 
October 2021 (3)
September 2021 (4)
August 2021 (3)
July 2021 (1)
June 2021 (2)
May 2021 (2)
April 2021 (2)
March 2021 (1)
February 2021 (7)
January 2021 (7)
December 2020 (7)
November 2020 (8)
October 2020 (4)
September 2020 (7)
August 2020 (6)
July 2020 (8)
June 2020 (8)
May 2020 (9)
April 2020 (9)
March 2020 (17)
February 2020 (9)
January 2020 (7)
December 2019 (8)
November 2019 (7)
October 2019 (6)
September 2019 (6)
August 2019 (3)
July 2019 (5)
June 2019 (4)
May 2019 (3)
April 2019 (4)
March 2019 (5)
February 2019 (2)
January 2019 (5)
November 2018 (1)
October 2018 (3)
September 2018 (2)
August 2018 (2)
June 2018 (3)
May 2018 (3)
April 2018 (3)
March 2018 (5)
February 2018 (5)
January 2018 (5)
December 2017 (7)
November 2017 (4)
October 2017 (3)
September 2017 (5)
August 2017 (4)
July 2017 (3)
June 2017 (6)
May 2017 (4)
April 2017 (4)
March 2017 (6)
February 2017 (4)
January 2017 (5)
December 2016 (4)
November 2016 (4)
October 2016 (3)
September 2016 (5)
August 2016 (5)
July 2016 (4)
June 2016 (8)
May 2016 (4)
April 2016 (4)
March 2016 (6)
February 2016 (4)
January 2016 (3)
December 2015 (5)
November 2015 (4)
October 2015 (2)
September 2015 (2)
August 2015 (1)
July 2015 (3)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (5)
April 2015 (6)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (5)
January 2015 (2)
December 2014 (4)
November 2014 (4)
October 2014 (7)
September 2014 (5)
August 2014 (3)
July 2014 (5)
June 2014 (5)
May 2014 (5)
April 2014 (5)
March 2014 (6)
February 2014 (9)
January 2014 (5)
December 2013 (5)
November 2013 (6)
October 2013 (5)
September 2013 (7)
August 2013 (5)
July 2013 (5)
June 2013 (5)
May 2013 (1)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (3)
February 2013 (1)
January 2013 (5)
December 2012 (10)
November 2012 (7)
October 2012 (6)
September 2012 (6)
August 2012 (4)
July 2012 (2)
June 2012 (6)
May 2012 (10)
April 2012 (4)
March 2012 (3)
February 2012 (2)
January 2012 (8)
November 2011 (1)
October 2011 (1)
September 2011 (1)
August 2011 (1)
May 2011 (1)
April 2011 (1)
March 2011 (4)
February 2011 (2)
January 2011 (2)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (1)
October 2010 (3)
September 2010 (1)
August 2010 (1)
May 2010 (1)
March 2010 (2)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
November 2009 (2)
October 2009 (1)
July 2009 (1)
May 2009 (1)
April 2009 (2)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (1)
November 2008 (1)
October 2008 (1)
September 2008 (4)
August 2008 (2)

This site uses cookies. Some of the cookies we use are essential for parts of the site to operate and have already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but parts of the site may not work. To find out more about cookies on this website, see our Privacy Policy.