Dear Little hearts,
Good morning, a new day, a new grace and another new week begins.
This morning’s psalm comes from Monday of Morning Prayer week 3 in the Divine Office. Life is often full of challenges that can come to us in many different packages, often they can leave us feeling exhausted and empty, prayers of intercession, prayers of lament are such genuine, needful prayers for us to offer but we have also to address a balance and the balance is to allow our hearts, our souls to be full of praise no matter what the external circumstances are !! Praise is prayer directed totally to and about God, it is prayer in which we render God our thanksgiving, our admiration, our love.
Praise is the ticket to freedom, against anxiety and all temptations’. In the prayer of praise we don’t just say, We praise you Lord, we praise you (that too , BUT..) we pray with words silently or audibly, words of admiration, My God how wonderful, beautiful, amazing, good, etc you are ! The more we practice prayer of praise the more it will expound, the more it will grow in meaning for us, how well the psalmist knew this!! And goodness me he had plenty of sufferings, oppressions, evils to deal with, but the praise that exudes from his soul is far greater than all that.
Psalm 96(95) Cantate Domino
O sing a new song to the Lord,
sing to the Lord all the earth.
O sing to the Lord, bless his name.
Yes as this new week begins I sing a new song, one that comes from my heart in the here and now, from this moment…. The words maybe familiar, but this day has never been or at its end will never return, so my new song is part of my life and journey ..NOW!!!
Proclaim his help day by day,
tell among the nations his glory
and his wonders among all the peoples.
Praise Him O my soul, You are my strength, You are my Helper, my soul lives to magnify you my God, for you have done such great things for me !!
The Lord is great and worthy of praise,
to be feared above all gods;
the gods of the heathens are naught.
No one, and nothing can compare to you Jesus!
Oh have mercy upon those who worship the gods of this world,
Claim them again Lord as your own !!
It was the Lord who made the heavens,
his are majesty and state and power
and splendour in his holy place.
Great God of Glory my Lord Jesus Christ, I praise, bless and thank you for the wonders the staggering beauty of your creation !
Give the Lord, you families of peoples,
give the Lord glory and power;
give the Lord the glory of his name.
Jesus- Jesus- Jesus- let your holy name be ever inscribed upon my heart
May my life glorify you my Lord and God !
Bring an offering and enter his courts,
worship the Lord in his temple.
O earth, tremble before him.
The offering I bring to you in your Church, the offering I lay upon your altar O my God, is this heart that seeks to love you more and more.
Proclaim to the nations: “God is king.”
The world he made firm in its place;
he will judge the people in fairness.
YES! YES! YES! The King walks amongst us, He is KING, Oh Lord, THY KINGDOM COME !
In your Presence that’s where I belong! In your presence that’s where I am strong… You are the great, “ I AM”…. I praise and bless you Lord
For my feet are standing on Holy Ground as I draw near to you !
My Lord , my God, I love you !
Text: Canon Pat Browne on The Word of God
- Jan 26th, 2020
When I was in Primary School – a long time ago – I remember the question being asked in catechism class; “When are you late for Mass?” You wouldn’t believe it but the answer then was, so long as you are in for just after the gospel you’re not late! The implication being that what had happened up to then was not that important.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This was based on an old Catholic thing. The Bible was for Protestants. We Catholics had the sacraments, and in this case the Mass was all about the sacrifice and Holy Communion.
Thank God we have moved away from all that. It didn’t make sense. How could we know what the sacraments are for if we had not read our Bible.
No, the early Christians got it right. If you asked them where they were going to on Sunday, they would tell you; “I’m going for the Teaching and the Breaking of Bread. In other words,for the Readings from the Scriptures, God’s Word – the Teaching – and THEN the sacrament of the Eucharist which they called the breaking of Bread.
Pope Francis is really keen that we Catholics get to know our Holy Book, Our Scriptures, our Bible, better than we do and so he has designated this The Sunday of God’s Word.
To help that along I have this idea.
Some people boast that they have read the bible from start to finish. Can I respectfully suggest that this is not the best way of doing it. The Bible is not a book. It is a Library of Books between two covers – French word Bibliotheque…To say I have read the Bible from start to finish is like saying I went into the library and started one end and read everything till I got to the other end. You’d be punch drunk by the end of that!
I think we should start in a simpler way. To those of you who read the bible every day. That’s great. Don’t interrupt what is a great habit you have got into. For those of you who don’t do so on a regular basis I am giving out a copy of St Matthew’s Gospel – one to every household – at all Masses today and suggesting that each person read just one chapter a day. There are 28 Chapters in Matthew and if we all did this we would have read the whole Gospel in the month of February. Just imagine that! At least one person in every Catholic flat, bedsit or house in Pimlico would have read the whole Gospel in that month. It’s a powerful thought. Are you up for it? I hope so.
But don’t read it to get through it. Read it slowly and prayerfully. And if something hits a chord with you, then stop reading, think about it and pray about what you have just read.
I would love people to say to me: “I read a bit every day but I’m not getting through a chapter. I’m taking it in small chunks and praying about it.”
Doing it that way is much better. And it could be Easter before you have read the whole lot. But so what! Better to have read three pages prayerfully than the whole lot in a rush.
Inside the cover of each Gospel there is a lovely prayer I found recently – prayer for the unsure.
Dear God, sometimes I don’t even know that you are there.
But I want to know the truth about you, about life, about eternity.
So please help me to discover the truth as I read this Gospel and look into the life of Jesus Christ.
Help me to be honest about what I find in him, and what his teaching says about me.
And help me to have the courage to respond to whatever I discover, with honesty. Amen
Say that prayer each day before you start reading and then go slow!
Say that prayer each day before you start reading and then go slow!
When you start with the first chapter verses 1 to 17 you may end up saying to yourself: “What was all that about!” It is a genealogy. Matthew is making a point. He is writing for Jews. So he starts off by showing them through this genealogy who Jesus is. He is the one they have been waiting for. To us this may seem an uninteresting passage but to the Jew of that time. It would be a most impressive matter that Jesus could be traced back to David, and even to Abraham. Within that line Matthew is proving that Jesus was the son of David. They were expecting a Messiah to come from this line. And that is Matthew’s point.
So, no need to spend too much time on those particular verses but keep that point in mind as you read through the rest of the Gospel. That is what Matthew wants you to do. This is who Jesus is. He is the One you have been expecting.
So, go for it. And don’t be shy about discussing it with other parishioners. “How far have you got to? Where are you up to? What part are you reading now? How are you getting on with it?” To have people chatting about the Word of God. Can’t be bad!
Canon Pat Browne is Parish Priest at Holy Apostles church, Pimlico, central London and Roman Catholic Duty Priest in the Houses of Parliament.
Content and resources to help you celebrate the Bishops’ Conference 2020 Scripture Initiative
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