C, Mary, Mother of God a Mother of the Church
As for Mary, she treasured all things things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2.19
You brooded over the deep and the world was formed.
You hovered over the womb and the Word was made flesh.
You descended upon the disciples and the Church was established.
Come upon us now and bring the new world to birth,
full of grace from the start, assumed in the end,
Icon of the Spirit,
treasure us, ponder over us,
brood, and with your flesh make us spirit, by a divine alchemy.
You brought heaven to earth.
Bring earth to heaven.
Virgin for all,
give us space, arouse us,
initiate us into your mysteries and make us the new Man.
C, Mary, Mother of God b Child-bearer
So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Luke 2.17
Spirit of God,
out of your freedom, fruitful One, the world arose, and
by your choice you hovered over Mary bearing the Word, and
at your chosen time, gracious One, you descended and bore the Church.
Inspire us and make us give birth to the world to come.
Mary, Icon of Spirit,
inspired from the start by the Spirit,
assumed in your body at the end;
Mary born from above, flesh made spirit,
give us birth in ways surprising and new.
Into your flesh receive us;
in your spirit form us;
possess us, drive us, make us act and do and die;
arouse the Spirit in us, unleashing fire and tempest and
deliver us to our mission,
till the new Man has come forth.
C, Epiphany a Agnosticism
Some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east. ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews ….? Matthew 2.1b-2a
Lead me, Spirit,
away from my false gods – make me atheist –
out into the dark, into the unknown.
Lead on, Spark serene, so dimly perceived.
Light among lights,
I surrender to you.
Let the world darken around me, let all the certainties fail,
but lead me on, into ignorance – O my star, my revelation – into surprise.
Let me be free of thoughts and rival dogmas – becoming agnostic – and
draw me more deeply into the glow of covenant – O Person of the Persons.
For you have shone in me, Spirit tempting spirit,
you have come and I cannot resist your beauty.
Where shall you take me?
Away from family and familiars.
Away from palaces and the mindless business of Jerusalem,
to enter the house of the poor and behold:
the Child seated upon the throne of Mary,
Light-from-Light revealed by Light.
C, Epiphany b Insight
We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage. Matthew 2.2
From all of Persia, some Magi, only three perhaps, come,
bearing gifts for the Gift.
They have left their familiars, their amused colleagues,
led by the Light among lights, obscure, unknown.
They leave the crowd and go their way,
into darkness, across the dunes.
The Light has appeared to them in a point of light and
justifies their long searching of the skies.
Shine in me, my star!
Reveal yourself in the quick.
Spirit, touch my spirit.
Deep, call upon deep.
No matter the roar of the crowd,
only my portion of the Light will lead me.
My insight, my truth, alone leads me,
justifying the long meanderings of my life, and
there I will find the Child
seated on the throne of the Woman who is Wisdom and
there I will lay out all my gifts,
tribute for a king,
given at last.
C, Easter 2 a Holy Spirit
…he breathed on them and said: ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain. they are retained. John 20. 22-23
Whence this sudden joy, this assurance, this peace?
It is not of my doing.
It is given to me,
coming from above and
from the very centre of the earth.
Come to me, wave upon wave of the Spirit,
come, open spaces, whole vistas of knowledge.
Pour into me and free my lungs and
I will breathe deeply from the great mouth of the Word.
From all eternity, he breathes you and
now, having been tested as gold in the fire,
true man as he is true God,
inspires all humanity.
You are proof of the one who lay confined in rock and
now fills all times, risen, exalted.
In knowing you
we know the one who has earned the right to breathe you on this earth
the Best uttered by the Best.
Fill me and
place in my mouth a new song,
bring words to birth in me,
words that will surprise.
C, Easter 2 b Salvation
He showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord. John 20.20
Whence springs this joy?
A Living Breath fills me.
At last, the burdens fall,
I stand upon the earth.
Made of clay, a fire burns in me.
I am transformed.
Death had surrounded us, and gloom.
He entered into our pain and
formed depths further as he fell.
What horror and desolation!
He could endure the worst
because in him the best was found.
Therefore he stands before us, dead-alive,
showing us his hands and wounded side and
his joy is complete and
his flesh thrills with the joy of God.
From his body comes salvation.
We rise with the risen and
exult with the exalted,
Darkest night is brightness for us now.
To us every power is given,
authority in the whole world of grace and damnation.
Fill me, Breath, and
let my amazement,
let my gasping be the final prophecy.
C, Sunday 5 a The Word summons
He got into one of the boats, – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. Luke 5. 3
Your silence, Spirit, soft as the night,
bewitches me with a music beyond sound and
I cry out, filling your space with the shout of exultation.
Your space summons the Word in me,
rousing me to fill my lungs, and
I am the Word even as He uttered me.
For I am the Word,
spoken from the beginning,
the Word within all words, before all words,
found not in letters but in living speech.
In order to be Word among them
I was born.
In view of a time known yet unknown
I grew and my voice became strong.
At last you have put all in place and
the time has come and I speak,
projecting myself across the deep,
as they stand upon the shore, listening.
In some I resound,
there where your silence dwells.
I enter them
whose heart you open with your openness.
I flow in my words and
I pour into you,
and form the world to come,
composed of Word and Silence,
C, Sunday 5 b The Word knows
But Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on it is men you will catch. Luke 5. 10b
You bring me to ignorance, Spirit of the Night,
and my words lead to your silence
as I float upon the deep and
touch every space, and so
we come to know, in our union,
the One from whom we proceed.
But for their sake I speak, seated in the boat,
drawing them into your silence.
I confirm my knowledge of the heavens
by showing a knowledge of the sea – ‘and its swarms past counting’.
To Peter I am the Fisherman,
mastering the deep.
calling him to leave it all and follow me,
to draw from your deep a world to come.
I can know the future and the decisions of men,
whether they are to our purpose.
You inspire authority in me, Awaiting Spirit,
and knowledge and counsel and wisdom and right judgment.
I act because you, Third Person, allow me and
I can know the position of the catch.
The human hand knows the visible
but faith knows the invisible.