Wednesday 30 November

Antiphon: Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces.

Five Thousand

Eularia Clarke (UK, 1914–70). The Five Thousand.

Holy Sonnet 15
John Donne.

Wilt thou love God as he thee? Then digest,
My soul, this wholesome meditation,
How God the Spirit, by angels waited on
In heaven, doth make His temple in thy breast.
The Father having begot a Son most blest,
And still begetting—for he ne’er begun—
Hath deign’d to choose thee by adoption,
Co-heir to His glory, and Sabbath’ endless rest.
And as a robb’d man, which by search doth find
His stolen stuff sold, must lose or buy it again,
The Sun of glory came down, and was slain,
Us whom He had made, and Satan stole, to unbind.
‘Twas much, that man was made like God before,
But, that God should be made like man, much more.

Isaiah 25:6-10

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.

And he will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; he will swallow up death for ever. Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day: Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation. For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain. The Moabites shall be trodden down in their place as straw is trodden down in a dung-pit.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

Matthew 15:29-37

After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

God of love, Father of all,
the darkness that covered the earth
has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh.
Make us a people of this light.
Make us faithful to your Word
that we may bring your life to the waiting world.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Psalm 23, played by Dennis Wubs on the organ of the Jacobuskerk at Zeerijp in the Northern Netherlands. The organ was built in 1651 by Theodorus Faber and variously "improved" over the centuries since. In 1977-9 it was restored to its original 1651 state. For more, see: Psalm 121, and Psalm 146

Psalm 23 metrical, in Dutch

Mijn God, mijn herder, zorgt voor mij,
wijst mij een groene streek; ,
daar rust ik aan een stille stroom,
en niets dat mij ontbreekt.

Hij geeft mijn ziel weer nieuwe kracht,
doet mij zijn wegen gaan,
de paden van gerechtigheid,
ter ere van zijn naam.

Al moet ik door het doodsravijn,
U gaat steeds aan mijn zij. ,
Ik vrees geen kwaad,
Uw herdersstaf, geeft steun en veiligheid.

Terwijl de vijand toe moet zien,
maakt U mijn tafel klaar.
U vult mijn beker, zalft mijn hoofd,
en redt mij in gevaar.

Uw trouw en goedheid volgen mij,
Uw liefde, dag aan dag;
en wonen zal ik in Gods huis,
zo lang ik leven mag.

May the Lord, when he comes, find us watching and waiting. Amen.