Thu, 2 September 2021
O great Shepherd,
watchman of the House of God
and protector of His flock,
though in the monastery you would have stayed,
when called to the Chair of Peter
you guided the Church well
through difficult times –
pray that as difficult days continue
a firm hand may continue to be found
at the helm of MotherChurch.
O pray that the faith be strengthened,
that the Rock upon which this House is set
will remain unshakable
and its light, its wisdom,
serve ever as a beacon
calling straying souls
into the Lord’s welcoming arms.
Humility and holiness
may all our leaders embody,
that by the Word of God on their tongues
and His wounds in their hands
all the poor of the earth
will be carried unto Heaven.
Thu, 2 September 2021
(Col.1:15-20; Ps.100:1-5; Lk.5:33-39)
“New wine should be poured into fresh skins.”
“The blood of His cross” is poured forth for us; it becomes the new wine we drink this day, that which makes us new men by its grace. The scribes and Pharisees refuse this new wine, saying, “I find the old wine better,” so they cannot see “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creatures,” standing before them this day. Do we see Him? Do we hear His teaching? Do we allow His Word and His presence to be poured into us? Do we make ourselves “fresh skins” to receive the wine that is the Lord? Or do we, too, prefer the old? The old man under the burden of sin and death must be put away before the new man of grace and life can enter in.
“In Him everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible.” Paul tells us Jesus fills all the universe with His presence, for “all were created through Him and for Him. He is before all else that is,” and “in Him everything continues in being.” He is the source of life and life itself. And He is “head of the body, the Church.” “Firstborn of the dead,” primacy indeed is His “in everything.” First to be born, first to die, He is also the first to be raised to new life… and by His power we are all raised to the new life we now find through His sacrifice. The blood which fills the universe must now fill our beings; we must be filled with His presence, for only by Him does grace come. Only by Him is the Law fulfilled, the Word made real, and the life of heaven become our own.
And those who are present to Him, those who are present with Him – those who are filled with His Spirit cannot help but rejoice. The disciples could not fast while Jesus was with them, while the bridegroom to whom they wed themselves was in their midst, and likewise those who come into the presence of the Lord cannot come but with joy. “Enter His gates with thanksgiving,” our psalm declares. “Know that the Lord is God; He made us, His we are.” And as we enter into the blessed Body and Blood of Christ, as we come to know the bridegroom of our soul… as His Spirit fills us what can we do but rejoice in the Lord, “whose kindness endures forever,” who makes us as His own – who redeems our very souls. Make room for Him in your hearts. There let His blood flow, that you might have new life.
O LORD, with you we are called to dwell –
let us rejoice!
YHWH, absolute fullness resides in your Son, through whom you made the universe and through whose blood you reconcile all things. He is your very image, and He calls us all to enter your gates through Him, that we might rejoice forever in your kingdom.
Jesus is the Bridegroom to whom we must be wed if we are to come into your presence and see the face of the One who made us. His blood is the new wine poured out for our sakes, that which will unite us with Him as we come with pure hearts, with new wineskins, to Holy Communion. O let us receive Him well, LORD! that we might be filled with the grace He offers forth.
You call us to sing joyfully before you, LORD, in the wedding feast of Heaven. May we be your faithful flock, gratefully accepting the love that comes to us only through your firstborn Son.