Discontinued….

MaryvaleThis Blog has not been active since its editor moved to the parish of St Nicholas, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield in the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

  • A new Blog has been established for St Nicholas parish, and it can be accessed here.
  • The postings for Living Eucharist continue here.

Thank you to all those who have expressed their appreciation of the service offered by stjohnswoodblog, and have a happy and fruitful Advent and Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Chapel of the Sacred Heart, Maryvale, Birmingham. (c) 2015, Allen Morris.

Speak Lord: Giver of gifts

Living Eucharist

Manna NG

The first reading at Mass today, the 18th Sunday of the Year, reminds us of the moaning and groaning people of Israel, and of the gift of manna (and quails) that sustains them during their desert wanderings.

The context of the Liturgy, and Christian Tradition, means we will focus more on the manna than the quails. Indeed the compilers of the Lectionary chose this reading to accompany today’s Gospel reading with its talk of the bread of heaven that is Christ, the antitype to the type of the bread gifted by God to Israel.

The whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, ‘Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it…

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Speak Lord: Our Heavenly Bread

Living Eucharist

Pyx The Psalm for Mass tomorrow, the 18th Sunday of the Year, picks up the theme of the group of Sundays between last Sunday and the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time – the theme of Chapter 6 of John, the Bread of Life, the Bread of Heaven.

The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us,
these we will not hide from their children
but will tell them to the next generation:

The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

the glories of the Lord and his might
and the marvellous deeds he has done,
Yet he commanded the clouds above
and opened the gates of heaven.
He rained down manna for their food,
and gave them bread from heaven.

The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Mere men ate the bread of angels.
He sent them abundance of food;
So…

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Speak Lord: Call us to holiness

Living Eucharist

Saints, Czartoryski museum, CracowThe second reading on Sunday continues our reading of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

And it contains both challenge and encouragement.

I want to urge you in the name of the Lord, not to go on living the aimless kind of life that pagans live. Now that is hardly the way you have learnt from Christ, unless you failed to hear him properly when you were taught what the truth is in Jesus. You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.

Ephesians 4:17,20-24

The Lord comes to us to change us. He comes to heal, restore, guide us to ourselves, to the…

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Speak Lord: Speak, Bread of Life

Living Eucharist

Exposition, Piarist Church, Cracow aOn the 18th Sunday of Ordinary time in Year B, ie next Sunday, the gospel reading continues the reading from chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, begun last week.

Last week’s passage ended with Jesus heading for the hills to escape the enthusiasm of the crowd, that would crown him king.

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’
Jesus answered:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man…

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Taste and See: Unity, peace, service.

Living Eucharist

Pershore

The second reading at Mass on Sunday last, the 17th in Ordinary time, came from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Like so much of that letter it exhorts to harmony, unity in Christ.

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.

Ephesians 4:1-6

Our Christian vocation is to live and share the peace of Christ. In him we find our security, and the security that is his love…

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Taste and See: food for eternal life

Living Eucharist

Eucharistic window The Prayer after Communion on Sunday last, the 17th Sunday of the Year, had the Church asking that she does not fail in the way so many of those fed with bread and fish on the hillside of Galilee would. Fed by the Bread of Life we are fed for life, not just to take away any pangs of physical hunger:

Prayer after Communion We have consumed, O Lord, this divine Sacrament, the perpetual memorial of the Passion of your Son; grant, we pray, that this gift, which he himself gave us with love beyond all telling, may profit us for salvation. Through Christ our Lord.

The spiritual food that is Christ and that we share in at Mass, especially, feeds us for eternal life.

  • What in our life today is apt for that life?
  • What might be in contradiction of it?

Stained glass window in Brentwood Cathedral (c) 2007, Allen…

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Taste and see: the first fruits of God’s kingdom

Living Eucharist

Beatitudes 3Yesterday’s Gospel, that for the 17th Sunday in Year B, began the Church’s reading of chapter 6 of John’s Gospel.

Jesus went off to the other side of the Sea of Galilee – or of Tiberias – and a large crowd followed him, impressed by the signs he gave by curing the sick. Jesus climbed the hillside, and sat down there with his disciples. It was shortly before the Jewish feast of Passover.

Looking up, Jesus saw the crowds approaching and said to Philip, ‘Where can we buy some bread for these people to eat?’ He only said this to test Philip; he himself knew exactly what he was going to do. Philip answered, ‘Two hundred denarii would only buy enough to give them a small piece each.’ One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, ‘There is a small boy here with five barley loaves and two fish; but what…

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Speak Lord: Of gifts to share

Living Eucharist

Bread, Jerusalem

The gospel at Mass today, the 17th Sunday of Ordinary time, tells of the multiplication of loaves and fishes to feed the hungry crowd.

In the first reading there is a foreshadowing of the miraculous feeding in the hills of Galilee.

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing Elisha, the man of God, bread from the first-fruits, twenty barley loaves and fresh grain in the ear.’ ‘Give it to the people to eat’, Elisha said. But his servant replied, ‘How can I serve this to a hundred men?’ ‘Give it to the people to eat’ he insisted ‘for the Lord says this, “They will eat and have some left over.”’ He served them; they ate and had some left over, as the Lord had said.

2 Kings 4:42-44

The Old Testament establishes patterns that find their fulfilment in the New. And those great miracles of love that we find in the…

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Speak Lord: generous and good

Living Eucharist

Epstein Madonna and Child JesusThe responsorial psalm on Sunday, the 17th Sunday of the Year, responds to the care and support offered by angels to the care-worn prophet, and by Jesus to the weary and hungry crowd.

But to what else, in our own direct experience, does it connect?

You open wide your hand, O Lord, and grant our desires.

All your creatures shall thank you, O Lord,
and your friends shall repeat their blessing.
They shall speak of the glory of your reign
and declare your might, O God.

You open wide your hand, O Lord, and grant our desires.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand,
grant the desires of all who live.

You open wide your hand, O Lord, and grant our desires.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all…

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