Engaging Faith | Fri, Jun 5, 2015
Corpus Christi [b]
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 7, 2015
Copyright © 2015 Center of Concern
June is Torture Awareness Month
June 8: World Oceans Day
June 12: World Day Against Child Labor: http://www.un.org/en/events/childlabourday/
The Holy Spirit enriches the entire evangelizing Church with different charisms. These gifts are meant to renew and build up the Church. They are not an inheritance, safely secured and entrusted to a small group for safekeeping; rather they are gifts of the Spirit integrated into the body of the Church.-
- Pope Francis, Evangelli Gaudium, 130
Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the Eucharist.
- US Bishops, Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions
The whole Church as such, is directly called to the service of charity: "In the very early days the Church added the agape to the Eucharistic Supper, and thus showed herself to be wholly united around Christ by the bond of charity. …. charity gives life and sustains the works of solidarity that look to the total needs of the human being.”
- John Paul II, Christifideles Laici
In the Sunday Eucharist, the believing heart opens wide to embrace all aspects of the church. But ... far from trying to create a narrow "gift" mentality, St Paul calls rather for a demanding culture of sharing, to be lived not only among the members of the community itself but in society as a whole."
- John Paul II
Many problems darken the horizon of our time. We need but think of the urgent need to work for peace, to base relationships between peoples on solid premises of justice and solidarity, and to defend human life from conception to its natural end. And what should we say of the thousand inconsistencies of a “globalized” world where the weakest, the most powerless and the poorest appear to have so little hope! It is in this world that Christian hope must shine forth!
- John Paul II, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 20
Any Church community, if it thinks it can comfortably go its own way without creative concern and effective cooperation in helping the poor to live with dignity and reaching out to everyone, will also risk breaking down, however much it may talk about social issues or criticize governments. It will easily drift into a spiritual worldliness camouflaged by religious practices, unproductive meetings and empty talk.
- Pope Francis, Evangelli Gaudium, 207
Thoughts for your consideration
In the story from Exodus, the ritual that unites the people and God goes hand and hand with a commitment to a set of values. The people say: “We will do everything that the Lord has told us.” Moses writes down all the words of God, so that they can be faithfully carried out.
In the same way, the Eucharist which unites the followers of Jesus goes hand and hand with a commitment to the values and teachings of Jesus. Our prayer as a community, our celebration of Eucharist, must go hand and hand with our commitment to live out the social teaching of Jesus Christ – solidarity with one another – a special concern for the poor – a concern for the earth, the environment, and all creatures – a desire to work in the nonviolence spirit of Jesus – a courage to speak out whenever there is injustice – a commitment to an economic system in which the welfare of all people is what matters.
The Christian celebration of the Eucharist is a celebration of the covenant or relationship between God and us. Catholic Social Teaching invites us to make this covenant real in our social relations. The communion which we share “in church” is a communion which we must be reflected in how we live in society.
We can reflect on our communal sacramental celebration of Eucharist:
- Does our celebration of the Eucharist reflect the excitement and joy of being one in community?
- Does our celebration reflect a spirit of deep “solidarity?"
- Are we celebrating our solidarity as the living Mystical Body of Christ?
- Do we recognize Christ in the breaking of the bread?
- Is everyone welcome? Is there diversity in our community?
- Does the Eucharist empower us for action – for life?
We can ask similar questions as we live out the Eucharist as a community:
- How are we in solidarity with the poor in our city and in the world?
- Do we offer direct service to those in need?
- Does our solidarity move from the works of charity toward the works of justice?
- Do we work for that “social change” that will heal the structures and systems that keep us apart – that prevent us from being one body?
- Do we live in a sustainable way respecting creation?
- How are we the living Body of Christ in the world?
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
- How is the Eucharist important for your spiritual life?
- How is the Eucharist important for your work for justice in the world?
On this feast of Corpus Christi consider the story of “Stone Soup.”
There are many versions.
Actions - Links
BREAD FOR THE WORLD
On Corpus Christ Sunday, we may feel called to reflect on the issue of hunger in the world. Bread for the World is a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers. Their web site is at: http://www.bread.org. Be part of the hunger does not take a vacation effort at: http://blog.bread.org/2015/05/hunger-doesnt-take-a-vacation.html
TORTURE AWARENESS MONTH
June is Torture Awareness Month. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.
- Find out more at: http://www.nrcat.org
- Get ideas for this year at: http://www.nrcat.org/torture-awareness-month-june
- Take action against torture in US prisons at: http://www.nrcat.org/torture-in-us-prisons
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) is an organization founded by and for torture survivors. “The mission of TASSC is to end the practice of torture wherever it occurs and to empower survivors, their families and communities wherever they are.”
- For more info about their activities and actions, go to: http://tassc.org
END FAMILY DETENTION
Will our history be defined by the detention of children and their mothers? Tell President Obama to End Family Detention:
Bread for the World
- Worldwide, the number of hungry people has dropped significantly over the past two decades, but 805 million people continue to struggle with hunger every day.
- 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty — on less than $1.25 per day.
- Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.
- We live in the world's wealthiest nation. Yet 14.5 percent of U.S. households—nearly 49 million Americans, including 15.9 million children—struggle to put food on the table.
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, teach us how to share what we have.
For refugees and displaced people throughout the world, we pray….
For the homeless in our own nation, we pray….
For immigrants, we pray….
For the millions around the world who experience hunger today, we pray….
For all workers who have lost their jobs, we pray….
For women who are denied equal opportunity to share in the fruits of their work, we pray….
For children who don’t have what they need to grow up to be healthy adults, we pray….
Prayer - Meditation
PRAYER OF MANY BREADS - Adapted by Joseph McOscar from Janet Schaffran and Pat Kozak, More Than Words.
We pray then, good and gracious God,
that we might recognize you in the breaking of bread today.
May we recognize you
every time we join someone on a journey,
every time we share a meal,
every time we take bread in our hands.
And may this recognition call forth such joy in us
that we might never lose sight of your goodness.
May it inspire such love in us that our hearts
might continue to burn within us,
keeping alive your memory and your promise.
And may it provide such a longing for truth in us
that we will never be satisfied
until the whole earth experiences your justice and your peace.
From St. Ambrose:
“It is a better thing to save souls for the Lord than to save treasures. He who sent forth his apostles without gold had not need of gold to form his Church. The Church possesses gold, not to hoard, but to scatter abroad and come to the aid of the unfortunate.”