Engaging Faith | Mon, Jun 14, 2010
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 6, 2010
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
June 5: World Environment Day
June 6: Feast of Corpus Christi
Jun 12: World Day Against Child Labor http://www.ilo.org/ipec/Campaignandadvocacy/WDACL/lang--en/index.htm
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
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
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
To guarantee people and peoples the possibility of overcoming the scourge of hunger is to assure them concrete access to adequate, healthy food. Indeed, this is a practical expression of the right to life which, although it is solemnly proclaimed, all too often remains far from being implemented fully.
Benedict XVI, 16 October 2009
Thoughts for your consideration
The scriptures today proclaim the blessings that come when a meal is shared.
For Christians, sharing a meal (Eucharist) is at the heart of the Christian life.
There is a deep richness in the Catholic theology of Eucharist in our belief in the real presence -- in our belief in the presence of God in our shared meal. Books have been written. Talks have been given. Theologies have been developed and debated. After all the thoughts and words, we might reflect today on how that depth and richness is present in our practice.
We can ask the question on the level of our sacramental celebration:
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?
Our Eucharist celebrates and challenges our sharing and our relationship with each other and with the poor. We can ask the question on the level of our life 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?
The scriptures today give us a special opportunity to reflect on the reality of hunger and good insecurity in our world today. The world produces enough food for everyone. The problem is that some have too much and some dont have enough. In the gospel Jesus had to get everyone to share the bounty of bread and fish. The challenge today is a challenge of just distribution and of opportunities for all to participate in our food system in a sustainable and responsible way.
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?
How does Eucharist challenge you to connect with the poor and the hungry in your community?
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. Their site has basic facts on hunger globally and in the USA.
The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC) was 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. Their web site is at http://www.tassc.org June is Torture Awareness Month. Sign their online petition at
We live in the world's wealthiest nation. Yet 13 percent of people living in the United States live in poverty. Nearly one in four children live in households that struggle to put food on the table. That's 16.7 million children. http://www.bread.org/hunger/us/
On our planet, 1.02 billion people are hungry. Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That's one child every five seconds. There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty. http://www.bread.org/hunger/global/
Prayers of Intercession
Response: Lord, help us to share what we have.
For the millions around the world who experience hunger, we pray.
For the millions in our nation who experience some shortage of food, we pray.
For those who are being driving from their work in farming by the forces of globalization and multinational corporations, we pray.
For all those who are working without a living wage, we pray.\
For those who cannot find work, we pray.
For those without access to a quality education, we pray..
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.