Engaging Faith | Fri, Jun 12, 2009
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 14, 2009
June 16: International Day of the African Child
June 17: World Day to Combat Desertification & Drought
June 19: Juneteenth, African American Emancipation Day, a celebration of end of slavery in the US
June 20: World Refugee Day
June 21: Summer Solstice
June 21: Father's Day in the United States
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
Thoughts for your consideration
In the story from Exodus, the ritual which 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 and all its 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?
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?
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/.
WORLD REFUGEE DAY
World Refugee Day is June 20.
The Jesuit Refugee Service / USA has lots of resources on their web pages at http://www.jrsusa.org/
CONVENTION ON CLUSTER MUNITIONS
The U.S. is not among the 96 nations that have signed the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. Find our more and take action at http://www.jrsusa.org/support_take_action.php
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 and sign their statement of conscience at http://www.nrcat.org/. 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/ . You can also find information at http://www.tortureawareness.com/ .
The Jesuit Refugee Service reports that there are two million Iraqi people who have become refugees from their country and another three million Iraqi people who are internally displaced.
They also report that "despite the end of fighting in Sri Lanka last month, more than 260,000 displaced persons remain in camps in the northern part of the island country.
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.