Scripture

From 'Paradise' by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1530)
The advice of a celebrated fashion designer may not have been directly derived from the Hebrew Bible, but it certainly has strong echoes therein. If you want to know if, and what, God thinks about what you wear, Karen Eliasen suggests you consider how warriors, ‘capable wives’ and even God are clothed in scripture. Is there a dress code in the Bible? There is a dress code specification in the ‘Handbook of Useful Information for St Beuno’s Directors and Visiting Directors’ that runs like...
Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have dedicated 2020 to be a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. The prologue from John’s Gospel is read on Christmas day and famously speaks about ‘the Word’, and so we will be using these weeks of Advent, which begin the Year of the Word, to prepare to hear John’s familiar text in a new way. How do the scriptures for the Sundays of Advent invite us to a deeper engagement with what John will tell us about ‘the Word’ on...
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales have dedicated 2020 to be a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’. The prologue from John’s Gospel is read on Christmas day and famously speaks about ‘the Word’, and so we will be using these weeks of Advent, which begin the Year of the Word, to prepare to hear John’s familiar text in a new way. How do the scriptures for the Sundays of Advent invite us to a deeper engagement with what John will tell us about ‘the Word’ on...
From ‘Saint Paul Writing His Epistles’ by Valentin de Boulogne, via Wikimedia Commons
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the usage of the lectionary that determines the readings we hear each time we go to Mass, and Lent is a particularly good time for us to pay special attention to it, says Peter Edmonds SJ. How do St Paul’s words in the second readings that we will hear on the Sundays of Lent help us to appreciate the gospel texts that follow? It is easy to overlook anniversaries. One that we may not have noticed is that fifty years have passed since the approval...
© Traumrune / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
After the discovery of the empty tomb, the disciples had only one instruction to follow in the midst of their fear and uncertainty: go to Galilee. That is still an instruction to us today, says Brian Purfield, because we are in the same place as the disciples: ‘This is where we live: after the resurrection but before the return, entrusted with a message that is wonderful, but the import of which we do not quite understand.’ Where is our Galilee, and how do we get there? As a general rule,...
Pope Francis’ concern about the wording of the Lord’s Prayer has generated plenty of debate, and if that makes us more attentive to the working of the Spirit then we should embrace it. However, we ought not to be seeking a perfect translation, says Nicholas King SJ, with support from this Sunday’s second reading. ‘The function of the divine Word is to set us free, not enslave us.’ You have to be careful about words. There have been ruffled feathers in the past week because the pope...
Polling station at church
Next month, British voters will make another trip to the polling station to cast their ballots in a General Election. Deciding who deserves your vote is never an easy matter and many people are finding it more difficult than ever to decide which party’s path leads towards the common good, Nicholas King SJ included. He explains why a new book might be the perfect tool to help ‘people of goodwill’ decide how to cast their vote. So they have called another election, and the reaction of...
'Crossing of the Red Sea' by Cosimo Rosselli
God’s power over life and death is manifested in the paschal mystery that we prepare during Lent to celebrate, and it was the Lord of life and death whom Israel came to know intimately in the wilderness, says Karen Eliasen. The exodus story revealed to Israel then, as it does to us now on our Lenten journey, that ‘being in the wilderness is being on an exquisitely sharp edge between life and death.’ Song of Songs may not seem an obvious biblical book to dip into for Lent - but the question...
O Antiphons
I once heard a memorable homily that gave eloquent expression to the idea that the structure of the liturgical year is not a matter of doing what we did last year again and in exactly the same way. Yes, each year we live the same sequence of Advent and Christmas, then Lent and Easter, with blocks of Ordinary Time in between. But every time we approach one of those seasons, each of us is changed from the person who celebrated it the previous year. So it’s never a matter of doing it all...
O Rex Gentium
 Antiphons. They’re the lines you say before and after the psalms during morning and evening prayer, aren’t they? In the case of the O Antiphons, they also find expression in daily Mass in the days leading up to Christmas, and in the hymn ‘O Come, O Come, Emmanuel’.The liturgical context is all well and good, but how do you pray with an antiphon? We know how to recite them, how to sing them, but there must be a way for us to make them more personal, to draw food for...

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