August 2, 2015: Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Catholic Social Teaching: Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
The Eucharist commits us to the poor. To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren:
You have tasted the Blood of the Lord, yet you do not recognize your brother,…. You dishonor this table when you do not judge worthy of sharing your food someone judged worthy to take part in this meal…. God freed you from all your sins and invited you here, but you have not become more merciful. (1397) Catechism of the Catholic Church
First Reading: Exodus 16:2-4, 12-15
Psalm: 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
Second Reading: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
Gospel: John 6:24-35
Catechism of the Catholic Church
As bodily nourishment restores lost strength, so the Eucharist strengthens our charity, which tends to be weakened in daily life; and this living charity wipes away venial sins. By giving himself to us Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures and root ourselves in him:
Since Christ died for us out of love, when we celebrate the memorial of his death at the moment of sacrifice we ask that love may be granted to us by the coming of the Holy Spirit. We humbly pray that in the strength of this love by which Christ willed to die for us, we, by receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, may be able to consider the world as crucified for us, and to be ourselves as crucified to the world…. Having received the gift of love, let us die to sin and live for God. (1394) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Sunday of Ordinary Time, Cycle B
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: no references this week
The Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith. A word rooted in thanksgiving. A practice of receiving to become bread for the world. What a priceless gift, a comfort, our strength. Do we hold out our hand, drink from the cup not holding back or latched to our desires, but freely surrendering into the mystery of the transformative essence? Surrender into realizing Eucharist embodies a gift, so we freely give our lives in service to emulate the gift we receive. God’s covenant is faithful through all generations. From mana provided to dash hunger in the desert, as a foretaste to the true bread from heaven that was to come, and is present on the altar at each Mass.
The Eucharist is not just a religious ritual we do at church each Sunday, but that we take within is to strengthen us for lives committed to service in the world. If we truly believe what we have received, life is not mundane. Life has purpose with a passion for those forgotten by society, invisible or oppressed. For as Jesus came, endured the cross and rose, the Eucharist gives us the strength to give witness by our lives to Christ’s gift for our salvation. We can search many extremes in attempt to satisfy the yearning in our lives, but only when we receive the Eucharist with surrender, humility and belief will all yearning in our lives cease. The emptiness of our soul becomes filled with joy and peace only the Lord can infuse. Saying Amen should not be pronounced as a robotic utterance, but an affirmation of our thanksgiving for the gift and our resolve to be disciples, for we truly believe in what we receive in the sacrament of love, a sign of unity.
Individual Reflection: Ephesians 4:17, 20-24
For the next month, attend daily Mass. May your faith grow in appreciation for the gift of Eucharist.
Family Reflection: John 6:24-35
As a family, attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour. Cherish the silence to prayerfully reflect on the gift of Eucharist. Afterwards, share your thoughts about the experience.
Jesus thank you for the gift of your real presence in the Eucharist. A treasure of your love for us. A hope of unity for your Church. At times, we shuffle forward in the line for communion, absorbed in ourselves, but may your gift awaken our senses to see beyond the hollowness our shell to a world seasoned with your justice and peace for all people. While our only spoken word in receiving the Eucharist acclaims Amen, may our lives speak of your love to affirm our belief in you, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born, July 18, 2015 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.