TUESDAYS WITH TERESA: Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life

Our weekend readings for the feast of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), served to remind me that we need to be nourished by receiving Holy Communion so we can be sent out to nourish our world.

Let us make real the invitation to be the Body and Blood of Christ in each and every day.

We were very blest to have about eight children make their First Holy Communion at the Cathedral on Sunday night. Fr Joseph Figurado, our celebrant, spoke with conviction and passion about the most precious Body and Blood of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and how that gift to us is like the gift of parents to their children – it is about sacrifice and thanksgiving. He spoke to the children about the love and care they receive from their parents and from their grandparents. It is they who feed and nourish them, not just physically, but in every part of their lives. In turn, parents, are Jesus to their children and grandchildren.

One of the areas of great struggle and distress for the Synod Working Party and indeed the wider Catholic Church is the continuing reduction in numbers of people from all age-groups who attend Sunday Mass. It is hard not to make this our focus. And yet, I meet many good people from a Catholic background who are doing amazing things serving their families and communities. They appear to have embedded into their lives Jesus’s mission to love their neighbours and the world in which we live, without intentionally connecting to the worshipping community.

As I listened to our scriptures on this night, I could not help but wonder, how they are nourished for the journey. I receive my nourishment for ministry from the community of believers as well as from Eucharist. The gospel reading, from Luke (9:11-17), reminded us of the feeding of the multitudes and the miracle of them all eating until they were filled. This encourages us that we are not to hoard but to share generously by giving to others.

The Second Reading from St Paul to the Corinthians (11:23-26) provided the reminder to us that every time we eat the bread and drink the cup, we are proclaiming the death of the Lord. We are reminded of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

And so that takes me to some of what I read during the week in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations. On Tuesday 14 June, the following was written about The Earth is Pregnant with God

Authors Delio, Warner, and Wood press us to struggle with the implications of such an inclusive understanding of God’s presence during a time of environmental catastrophe:

Do we really believe that God dwells with us, in our lives and in the natural world of creation? Does the Body of Christ move us to contemplate God in creation? If so, then how can we say “Amen” to receiving the Body of Christ and perpetrate destruction of the environment? There is a disconnect between what we claim to be or rather what we claim to see and what we actually do. It is an alienation of heart and mind that has rendered a desecration of the environment, as if we take the host, the Body of Christ, and continually stomp on it while saying, “yes, so be it!”

It seems to me that many are living out the contemplative mystery without our theological, spiritual or ecclesial connection.

Then on Wednesday 15 June, in Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation, Bruce Epperly wrote about The Spirit of Francis

God calls us to mystical activism, a deep-rooted spirituality inspired by our encounters with God and commitment to our spiritual practices, to bring beauty and healing to the world. Walking in the footsteps of Francis and Clare, we are called to be mystics of the here and now, not some distant age. . . . Within the concrete limitations of our life, our gifts are lived out and expand as we devote ourselves to prayerful activism.

This brings me to Refugee Week (19 – 25 June), with its theme of Healing. I hope you take time this week to connect to some part of our refugee community, by listening to some of their stories. One of the aims of the week is to promote harmony and togetherness. On Saturday 25 June, I will join with The Hunter Interfaith Network as part of the Unity in Diversity Festival at Foreshore Park in Newcastle. In previous years, I have found it to be a wonderful experience of our diversities of cultures in Newcastle. I can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must be to live away from the place you know as home.

This week, may present you with an opportunity to support CatholicCare’s Refugee Hub via CatholicCare's Refugee page

You may wish to volunteer, or to donate directly through the CatholicCare page.

Let us make real the invitation to be the Body and Blood of Christ in each and every day.

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Teresa Brierley Image
Teresa Brierley

Teresa Brierley is Director Pastoral Ministries of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.