Engaging Faith | Fri, Apr 17, 2009
April 9, 2009
Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
April 7: World Health Day
April 8: Passover begins at sundown
April 9: Holy Thursday
April 10: Good Friday
April 11: Holy Saturday
April 12: Easter Sunday
"The washing of the feet and the sacrament of the Eucharist: two expressions of one and the same mystery of love entrusted to the disciples, so that, Jesus says, "as I have done... so also must you do" (Jn 13: 15)."
John Paul II, Holy Thursday 2003
The Eucharist is a mode of being, which passes from Jesus into each Christian, through whose testimony it is meant to spread throughout society and culture.
John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine
In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all" (Mc 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the "washing of feet" (cf. Jn 13:1-20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally.
John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine
We have a lot of work to do. Every time we reach out and assuage someone's hunger, and do that in memory of Jesus, a sense of Eucharist will bring to consciousness the Spirit and the real presence of Jesus - in us, through us, among us. That Spirit alone is capable of transforming the world and us.
Miriam Therese Winter, MMS
Thoughts for your consideration
Today we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist. We are a community that shares bread with one another. Sharing a meal defines who we are and who we want to become. This solidarity is one of our core values and it defines our social teaching. As we share the Eucharist we are called to create a world where resources are shared for the common good and all people are welcomed and respected. This is what we desire. This is what we work for.
Today we celebrate the washing of feet. Service is what being a follower of Jesus is about. Jesus says: "I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." Service, especially to the poor and all those in need, is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching. As we focus on others, we focus on the values that are central to our social teaching.
The interaction between Jesus and Peter reminds us of the mutuality of service that is essential to our social teaching. Peter, along with all the other disciples, is told to go and do the same, but first he is also told that he has to have his own feet washed. The Christian community is not a community of "domination over," or a community where some have it and others do not, or a community divided by those in need and those not in need. We all need to serve and we all need to be served. In community with share our needs as well as our gifts with each other. Without this attitude Catholic Social Teaching will be a shallow charity. Without this attitude we will not be able to create a true community.
Questions for Reflection in your Faith Sharing Group
Does the current economic crisis and recession cause you to in some way look at the Eucharist and the Washing of Feet in some new way? How does in challenge the values that have gotten our economy in trouble?
Share an experience of witnessing humble service.
How did it touch you? How were you challenged?
Actions - Links
As we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday, we recall the scandal of hunger in our world. Bread for the World has worked for 33 years as a Christian voice for ending hunger. Go to: http://www.bread.org/ The ONE Campaign is an effort supported by Bread for the World to rally Americans -- ONE by ONE -- to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty. Go to: http://www.one.org/
Bread for the World reports that: "An estimated 963 million people in the world go hungry. Each year, 3 million under-five children die because they are undernourished. Far more children live with undernutrition than die from it. For infants and young children, the effects of chronic malnutrition in the early years of life are largely irreversible. In the United States, 11.7 million children live in households where people have to skip meals or eat less to make ends meet. That means one in ten households in the U.S. are living with hunger or are at risk of hunger."
Prayers of Intersession
Response: God, bring us together as one people.
For all those who do not have enough to eat this evening, we pray....
For all those who do not have a home this evening, we pray....
For all those who live in fear of war, terrorism, and violence, we pray....
For all those who need to be set free from political and economic oppression, we pray....
For all those called to service, especially to service of those most in need, we pray....
For our church, that we may be renewed in the spirit of Jesus, we pray....
Thanks for sight
sight that comes in Jesus
insight about ourselves and the world
insight about the way of Jesus the way of compassionate love.
Thanks for life and all that nourishes life
the food of bread and grain,
fruits and vegetables,
meat and fish,
milk and all proteins
air and water
sun and breeze
earth and sea
space and mystery
friend and companion
stranger and refugee
young and old
the familiar and the new.
Thanks for the life of the spirit
for prayer and meditation
for silence and sound
for sacrament and scripture
for community and tradition
for poverty and wealth
for wisdom shared
for conversation and silence
for unity and diversity.
Thanks for all the challenges
for the call
to act for justice
to serve others
to live in peace
for the feelings that teach us
to know ourselves and others and you
to be restless for what is right
to speak out for what is good
to witness to what is of God.
Glory to you through all the ages! Amen!