- Published: Monday, 12 June 2017 17:06
LITURGY NOTES FOR CORPUS CHRISTI, FEAST OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
Body and Blood of Christ
June 18, 2017
Suggested formula for recognition of indigenous people and their land.
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land
on which we stand.
We pay our respects to them and for their care of the land.
May we walk gently and respectfully upon the land.
I acknowledge the living culture of the …….. people,
the traditional custodians of the land we stand on,
and pay tribute to the unique role they play in the life of this region.
If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete everywhere in the world.
Pedro Arrupe SJ, former Jesuit superior general
First Reading Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a
Responsorial Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Gospel John 6:51-58
· Jesus, in the Eucharist you give yourself for us to share. Jesus, have mercy.
· Jesus, in the Eucharist you invite us to become with you food and drink for the life of the world. Christ, have mercy.
· Jesus, in the Eucharist you give us the strength to live the way you lived for God and others. Jesus, have mercy.
· Christ Jesus, you multiplied bread to feed the hungry crowds. Jesus, have mercy.
· Christ Jesus, you gave yourself completely to your disciples and to us. Christ, have mercy.
· Christ Jesus, you were given drink in your thirst by the woman at the well, Jesus, have mercy.
calls us to be your body
for the life of the world.
Nourish us with your word of life,
and with the food and drink you offer,
may become more like you,
living not for ourselves
but for you and for the people around us.
Prayers of the Faithful
Introduction: Jesus Christ satisfies our hungers and he journeys with us in our deserts. We pray in response: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may our political leaders work for acceptance of others within the own countries and around the world beyond racial, cultural, social and sexual barriers, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may the people of Syria and Iraq come to see beyond narrow tribal and political interests and seek the well-being of all people in their world, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may our church - hungry for community and shared responsibility - be tolerant of one another and respectful of legitimate diversity, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may our country consider sharing justly with the peoples especially in Asia and the Pacific, freeing them to continue along the road of economic development and human dignity, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may Christian communities deepen their responsibility towards people who are homeless, living with disability and sickness, or living in prisons and detention centres, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may those who hunger for freedom, justice and peace be strengthened and not lose courage, we pray: Stay with us, O God
- If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may the 200 million children of the world who are undernourished touch our hearts and the leaders of the world, we pray: Stay with us, O God
· If there is hunger anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete: may we strive to end child labour and human trafficking as we recognise the image of God in all and that people cannot be bought and sold, we pray: Stay with us, O God
Concluding Prayer: Life-giving God, Jesus, shared himself to strengthen us, help us to share all that we are and all that we have.
Concluding Prayer: Life-giving and gracious God, watch over and protect us all. Strengthen the love that unites your people and grant that our community may know the peace and unity that is a sign of your presence among us.
Prayer over the Gifts
may our offerings become for us a sign of solidarity with one another.
May Jesus, your Son, keep us together in friendship, peace and a common concern
for love and justice among us and in the world.
Prayer after Communion
may we remember that we share Jesus’ life
as we receive his body and blood in the Eucharist,
May we work to build that new world
where your peace will be revealed
in people of every race, language and way of life
who gather to share in the one eternal banquet.
June 20 World Refugee Day
June 22 Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
June 23 Solemnity of the Sacred Heart
June 26 International Day in Support of Torture Victims and Survivors (next week)
Weep not for me for Death is
but the vehicle that unites my soul
with the Creative Essence, God.
My spiritual Being, my love is
still with you, where ever you are
You will find me in the quiet moments
in the trees, amidst the rocks,
the cloud and beams of sunshine
indeed, everywhere for I, too, am
a part of the total essence of
creation that radiates everywhere
about you, eternally.
Life, after all, is just a
Kevin Gilbert, Wiradgeri poet
We are called to practice Eucharist as a practice of awareness.
When Jesus broke and shared the bread with his disciples, he said, ‘Eat this. This is my flesh.’
He knew that if his disciples would eat one piece of bread full of awareness, knowing what they do, they would have real life.
In their daily lives, they may have eaten their bread in forgetfulness, so the bread was not bread at all; it was a ghost.
In our daily lives, we may see the people around us, but if we lack mindfulness, they are just phantoms, not real people,
and we ourselves are also ghosts.
Being aware of what we do and who we are we become real persons.
When we are real persons, we see real people around us;
life is present in all its richness.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, writer and peace activist.
On my knees I beg you to turn away from the paths of violence. . . .I say to you, with all the love I have for you, with all the trust I have in young people: do not listen to voices which speak the language of hatred, revenge, retaliation. Do not follow any leaders who train you in the way of inflicting death. . . .Give yourself to the service of life, not the work of death. Violence is the enemy of justice. Only peace can lead the way to true justice. Pope John Paul II, September 29, 1979
The table fellowship of Christians implies obligations. It is our daily bread that we eat, not my own. We share our bread. Thus we are firmly bound to one another not only in the spirit but in our whole physical being. The one bread that is given to our fellowship links us together in a firm covenant. No one dares go hungry as long as another has bread, and anyone who breaks this fellowship of the physical life also breaks the fellowship of the Spirit
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor executed by the Nazis at the end of World War ll
Because God is
the creator, redeemer, lover of the world,
God’s own honor is at stake in human happiness.
Wherever human beings are violated, diminished,
or have their life drained away,
God’s glory is dimmed and dishonored.
Wherever human beings are quickened to fuller and richer life,
God’s glory is enhanced.
A community of justice and peace (thriving among human beings)
and God’s glory increase in direct and not inverse proportion.
Elizabeth Johnson CSJ, She Who Is, p. 14
What are less than human conditions? The material poverty of those who lack the bare necessities of life, and the moral poverty of those who are crushed under the weight of their own self-love; oppressive political structures resulting from the abuse of ownership or the improper exercise of power, from the exploitation of the worker or unjust transactions. What are truly human conditions? The rise from poverty to the acquisition of life's necessities; the elimination of social ills; broadening the horizons of knowledge; acquiring refinement and culture. From there one can go on to acquire a growing awareness of other people's dignity, a taste for the spirit of poverty, an active interest in the common good, and a desire for peace.
Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio, #21
Prayer for Peace
We pray for those leaders of our communities,
our church, our country and our world,
that they may make decisions that are in accord
with God’s commandments that bring life, justice and peace.
For those who have died by actions of violence,
that they may be raised with Christ who died for them
and that they may know the unending life and glory
of the kingdom of peace and light.
For those who have survived violence,
that they will be sheltered in the compassion
of God and our community and that, feeling the compassion of Jesus, they may find healing and hope.
For those who commit acts of violence against others,
that their hearts may be moved by Christ’s grace,
and that they may be transformed by the Spirit of love.
For ourselves, that we will work together to end violence
and bring life, peace and security to our world.
Pax Christi UK
People are calling for a voice
Give us, O God of Justice,
churches that will be more courageous then cautious;
that will not merely ‘comfort the afflicted’
but ‘afflict the comfortable’;
that will not only love the world
but also demand justice;
that will not remain silent
when people are calling for a voice;
that will not pass by on the other side
when wounded humanity is waiting to be healed;
that will not only call us to worship
but also send us out to witness;
that will follow Christ even
when the way points to a Cross.
To this end we offer ourselves in the name of him
who loved us and gave himself for us.
© Christian Conference of ASIA [adapted for gender inclusivity]
Creator of the world we share
Generous, loving God we ask you
to give us today our daily bread
Creator of the world we share
Give us today our daily bread
As we store the crops
And fill the barns
Stack the shelves
Pile high the tins
And wander the aisles
Of supermarket choice
Show us how to see the world
Through the eyes of the hungry
Teach us how to share with all
Our daily bread.
© Linda Jones
Living source of all life
God, living source of all life
Creator of the mountain streams and river valleys
Freshwater lakes and vast oceans
We are sorry for the times
We have not cared enough for your creation
When we have wasted what you have given
We remember today with anger and sorrow
The women who walk miles each day for water
The growing deserts where once the land was fertile
We praise you for the glories of your world
For the new trees planted on desolate hillsides
For the child splashing happily under the water pump
Teach us respect for your creation
Teach us not to take more than we need
And to share what we have
For the earth is yours
And all that is in it
© Linda Jones
Acting upon my principles became incompatible with my role in the military. By putting my weapon down, I chose to reassert myself as a human being.
Camilo Mejia, conscientious objector sentenced to prison for his stance against the Iraq War 21 May 2004
He who fights against monsters should see to it that he does not become a monster in the process. And when you stare persistently into an abyss, the abyss also stares into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher, classical scholar, critic of culture
The global security agenda promoted by the US administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle. Violating rights at home, turning a blind eye to abuses abroad, and using pre-emptive military force where and when it chooses has damaged justice and freedom, and made the world a more dangerous place.
Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International 27 May 2004
I don't believe in charity.
I believe in solidarity.
Charity is so vertical.
It goes from the top to the bottom.
Solidarity is horizontal.
It respects the other person
and learns from the other.
I have a lot to learn
from other people.
Eduardo Galeano, Uruguayan social justice activist
Violence may murder the murderer, but it doesn't murder murder. Violence may murder the liar, but it doesn't murder lies; it doesn't establish truth.... Violence may go to the point of murdering the hater, but it doesn't murder hate. It may increase hate. It is always a descending spiral leading nowhere. This is the ultimate weakness of violence: It multiplies evil and violence in the universe. It doesn't solve any problems.
Martin Luther King Jr.
People everywhere are dangerously unaware of themselves. We really know nothing about the nature of ourselves, and unless we hurry to get to know ourselves we are in dangerous trouble.
(Adapted for inclusive language) Laurens van der Post quoting Carl Jung in Jung and The Story of Our Time, 1976
Whoever hears the message of the crucifixion of Christ in such a way that the cry of the crucified has become inaudible in it, hears not the Gospel but rather a myth
Johann Baptist Metz
In spirituality, what is inward is to become outward, visible and audible. When we learn to share pain and joy with others everyday life is hallowed because our desires and fears begin to radiate in it. Our lives and experiences are not casual items to be discarded but treasures worthy of being remembered, reflected upon, lamented and named.
Dorothee Soelle in Against the Wind
Just as the man who thinks only of this world does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal Kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there. Just as those who believe in National Socialism tell themselves that their struggle is for survival, so must we, too, convince ourselves that our struggle is for the eternal Kingdom. But with this difference: we need no rifles or pistols for our battle, but instead, spiritual weapons – and the foremost among these is prayer... Through prayer, we continually implore new grace from God, since without God’s help and grace it would be impossible for us to preserve the Faith and be true to His commandments.
Franz Jägerstätter,1907-1943 executed by the Nazis.
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert F. Kennedy, US Attorney General 1961-64, assassinated in Los Angeles while campaigning
Individualism, as a definition of holding to personal ideals, is classed as obstinacy and anti-social. Inevitably we run point blank into the evils of compromise. When compromise enters our moral fibre, it spreads like a cancerous growth. We think we plan adequate safeguards around areas in which we contemplate yielding our standards, but once we lower the fence and break our strong will to do right, come what may, we expose ourselves to forces that spread beyond control. Compromise always starts on some rather insignificant principle. The dangers of yielding seem negligible and we usually risk those things first where observation and detection by others is difficult. We thus seek to avoid censure and discipline. In a short time we find ourselves trading our principles for false values and doing it in the black market of human relationships...
Ralph W. Hardy
If it were proved to me that in making war, my ideal had a chance of being realized, I would still say ‘No’ to war. For one does not create human society on mounds of corpses.
Louis Lecoin, French pacifist leader
We thought, because we had power, we had wisdom.
Stephen Vincent Benét:
Reflections on the readings
Story: There's this little boy named Timmy. Timmy was very afraid of the lightning and the thunder. His mom and dad went into his room during a thunderstorm and said, ‘Now, Timmy, don't be afraid. God is right here in the room with you.’
He said, ‘Okay, Mommy and Daddy, I won't be afraid.’
But then as the mommy and daddy went into their room and started to get ready for bed, the lightning clapped, and the thunder rolled, and Timmy screamed bloody murder. Timmy's daddy and mommy went back into the room and said, ‘Honey, we thought we told you, you don't need to be afraid. God is right here in the room with you.’
Timmy said, ‘Mommy and Daddy, I know God is right here in the room with me, but I need someone with skin on.’ (Source unknown)
Last week’s Solemnity of the Holy Trinity reminded us that God is not a loner; that God is social; and a God of relationship. Any spirituality that disconnects us from the concerns of the world and divorces us from today’s social concerns (people seeking asylum, Indigenous people, people who unemployed and/or homeless, lonely, sick and aging) then it must be repudiated.
Jesus’ teaching and ministry often centred around sharing meals with people. He was crucified because of the company he kept; the people he ate with. Eating together is a significant human activity. Stories and lives are shared. Relationships are renewed and strengthened. However, we not only acknowledge that we have Jesus ‘in our blood’; that he became flesh for us, we are also called to allow him to take flesh in us over and over again.
It must have been abhorrent and shocking to his Jewish listeners when Jesus said that ‘Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life’, but his words are meant to shock too as we listen to his words each day with new ears and come to understand with new and open hearts. In taking him inside us, we take into our selves his teaching, his vision, his sentiments, his passion and his values. His thinking becomes our thinking. His dreams become our dreams. His vision becomes our vision. We become Jesus for the world. Become what you eat!!
Today’s feast is a feast of friendship, a feast meant to be of ever widening circles of inclusion. The world hates this friendship because it belongs to those in solidarity with the victims of the world and somehow expects only suffering and death. One might ask at this time how we can celebrate such a feast as millions of people continue to suffer the effects of price rises for food due to other economic changes in our world such as the thirst for oil, droughts, population increases, changes in diet where people turn to more and more meat which compounds the problems of the emerging world. Yet, in tragedy we often see glimpses of humanity shine through… glimpses that speak of ‘eucharist’. Some years ago, a priest in Sydney was getting off the bus to go and help out at a men’s shelter. It was very cold and damp and the priest had a bad cold. He rugged up in a great coat and when he got off the bus, a man who lived at the shelter saw the priest and thinking he was in need gave him some of his sandwiches. The helper is helped. The healer is healed by the wounded. Surely this is everyday eucharist.
We trivialise the celebration of the eucharist when it is used to determine a person’s worthiness; when used to put up more barriers between people. It is like putting Jesus back in the tabernacle where he is worshipped but not connected with humanity. This feast is an action; it is the coming together as a community of disciples ready for action.
The eucharist must address the cries of people around the world: those who hungry, illiterate, homeless, and oppressed by the system. It must address the increasingly violation of basic human rights: where torture is more justified more and more as a means to an end whether of alleged terrorists or people seeking asylum. It must address rape that occurs during war and conflict, as well as war itself. coming together must include allowing ourselves to see the world as Jesus does; to allow ourselves to b broken open to allow the world in and feel its hurts. Taking and eating the bread of life has consequences for us: the physical and spiritual hungers of people become more present to us. It means that others can be touched and changed because we share the living bread with people who are in need. We are the Body of Christ here on earth. There is no other. We are bound together. As we approach the Feast of the Sacred Heart this week we are reminded that we are called to be on earth, the heart of God.
The bread and wine are the real presence of Christ so that we can become Christ’s real presence to our world through our bodily selves. We are continually told to be concerned for the needy, not to judge others by their social status, to live simply; but to give ourselves for others. Jesus’ championed the outcast who represents all the marginalised, those who do not seem to count.
St Augustine said that we celebrate the eucharist we ‘become what we receive’ – to be the presence of Christ's loving, redeeming presence in this world. Our gathering is a sign of justice, we are to be a welcoming community, where there is a fundamental equality among us….though so much challenged in society around the world. St Paul condemns distinction, or class, or the slightest humiliation of the poor. Where equality or hospitality are missing, then our prayers or words about a God of justice and mercy are empty. Our celebration must make us agents of God's justice and mercy for a hungry world-food as well as support and care that builds others in dignity and esteem; when the hunger for healing, forgiveness, freedom, acceptance, conversion. The person who sits alone on the street or a park or at a mall might find our ‘greeting’ that day to be the only time that day someone has spoken to them!
Pope St Leo the Great said that we can have no relationship between ourselves and God which excludes the well-being of our neighbours who are poor. Today, more and more we need to extend the idea of neighbour. We have to think big – our country, the Pacific and Asian region, the rest of the world. The Eucharist must do this for us. At the moment we face a debt crisis, housing crisis, climate and environmental crises, food crisis, energy crisis. They interconnect and overlap. If these do not enter our thinking and acting then we cannot share the eucharist with real meaning. The GFC has already resulted in over 10,000 people committing suicide in Europe and the USA. The debt crisis kills people who have to pay for things they never purchased; they cannot have decent education or health care or proper food or clean water because debts have to be paid. People suffer the consequences of climate change (Pacific region and parts of Asia) for which they are not responsible. The foreign aid Australia and the USA offers is mostly unrelated to the real needs to people and with strings attached: it is given to provide security when the best security is a decent education, proper health care, enough food and the means the produce their own. Are not these deprivations a form of violence. Do we see it as violence?
For Jesus, the only true bread that comes down from heaven is love [Jn. 6:35-40]. The Gospel today leaves us in no doubt that God’s presence wants to be made concrete in what is human and human action….changing the world and replacing systems of injustice with a system of love.
Jesus’ action at the last supper [washing of the feet] was a message for us. Clearly as the eucharist makes Jesus present in our midst – it must be a ‘yes’ to love, life and God and a ‘no’ to violence. I have already indicated that it must lay bear injustice and violence where it exists. Jesus’ rising from the dead is God’s definitive declaration as to where God is vis-à-vis truth and justice in the face of lies, corruption and violence.
As we receive the body of Christ or the blood of Christ we say ‘Amen’. It is not meant to be a ritual but our saying ‘yes’ to what Jesus did for us, and that we will do what Jesus continues to do in our midst. It is an acknowledgement that we participate in his work.
St Paul reminds us that ‘though many, we are one body’. If we take our understanding of solidarity a little further, is that ‘If one member of Christ's body suffers, all suffer’ we must ask where are we as Christians. We need more and more from individualism to an understanding of interdependence and commit to human solidarity. Love implies concern for all - especially the poor. The interconnectedness of all persons and all life in the body of Christ is not an abstract concept; it is palpable and visible. One can choose to be a destructive eater of flesh and drinker of blood or to consume and be consumed by the one whose intent is for the ongoing life of the whole world.
So when we stretch out our hands to receive the bread broken for us let us be mindful that we are taking hold of one whose body was broken, died and rose for freedom and justice. When we take the cup, may we also commit to be in solidarity with all our sisters and brothers especially those we call losers, see as have-nots, treat as voiceless and powerless, and consider to be the dregs of society. People used to have a great reverence for the Eucharist. Some would say inordinate. But maybe our participation in the Eucharist ought to create a great sense of unease about disunity, discrimination, hypocrisy in the Christian community as well as in society. As Father Pedro Arrupe said, ‘If there is hunger (injustice, inequality, oppression) anywhere in the world, then our celebration of the Eucharist is incomplete everywhere in the world.’ May we be a God with skin on for our sisters and brothers.