18Jun 18 June, 2017. The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Presider’s Page has Opening Prayer, Prayers of the Faithful, etc.


1st Reading: Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14-16

Moses notes how God fed his people in the desert with the gift of manna

Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments. He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna, with which neither you nor your ancestors were acquainted, in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid wasteland with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good.

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

In sharing the bread of life at Mass, we become one body

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

Gospel: John 6:51-58

Jesus says he himself is the living bread for believers

Jesus said to them, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”

Bible

Ideas on this Feast

(Kieran O’Mahony)
St Paul’s teaching on the Lord’s Supper and the (social) Body of Christ has tremendous potential for today and it might be good to spend time on the second reading for a change. The roots, as always, lie in Jesus’ own practice of table fellowship, both radical and scandalous. If we truly experienced ourselves as one bread, one body, perhaps our living of the Gospel might no longer be superficial and conventional but also radical and scandalous.


Early description of the Eucharist

(From the Didaché “Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”):

“Concerning the Eucharist, give thanks as follows. First, concerning the cup: We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you have made known to us through Jesus, your servant; to you be the glory forever. And concerning the broken bread: We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge that you have made known to us through Jesus, your servant; to you be the glory forever. Just as this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and then was gathered together and became one, so may your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom; for yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.”  (Didaché 9:1–4)


His Presence Among Us

Jesus is living food for us, sent from the Father in heaven. Unlike ordinary food, which just sustains life, this food gives a life that is eternal.From the burning bush to the gentle breeze, God has made his presence known among us since the beginning of time. Being among us as food for body and spirit is a significant way of being present. Christ’s eucharistic presence is in bread and wine, among the commonest elements of food and drink in his day. The Lord is present among us through everyday things.

Bread comes from a process that begins with seeds of wheat mixed with water. These are brought together as dough and, after several stages of development, they end up as a unity which we call bread. Wine begins as a cluster of grapes which, when they are processed, they end up as what we call wine. A group of people gather together for prayer, each of them unique. After a process which is the work of God’s Spirit, they become a unity, which we call church, or the Body of Christ. In communion, the (community) Body of Christ is being nourished by the (sacramental) Body of Christ.

If someone invited you all to gather around me, as close as you can, because he was going to whisper to you, something else would take place that might surprise you. You’d notice that the closer you come to me the closer you’d be to each other. If you gathered closely around one person, you would be touching shoulders with each other. That is how community or the Body of Christ is formed. It is a question of bringing people closer to the Lord and, as a direct result of that, they end up being closer to each other.

Throughout history, God has spoken to his people in surprising ways. He spoke to Elijah through the gentle breeze, and he spoke to Moses in the burning bush. The natives of Bethlehem weren’t too excited that a new baby had been born and, later on, Herod would mock Jesus as a fool, and the soldiers would jeer him as a king. After the resurrection, Mary Magdalene thought he was a gardener, Peter thought he was a ghost, and the disciples on the road to Emmaus thought he was a stranger passing through. That he should present himself in so simple a form as food and drink is just what we might expect from “The God of Surprises.”


Eucharistic Stagnation?

(José Antonio Pagola)

Pope Francis keeps repeating that fears, doubts, lack of boldness… all can radically keep us from pushing the renewal our Church needs today. In The Joy of the Gospel he even says that if we stay paralyzed by fear, we can once more end up simply being «spectators of a sterile stagnancy in our Church». His words are worth thinking about. What do we see happening among us? Are we being mobilized to revive the faith of our Christian communities, or do we keep marking time within that “sterile stagnancy” that Francis talks about? Where can we find energy to act?

One of Vatican II’s great achievements was to push us forward in regards to the Mass: till then understood as an individual obligation to fulfill a sacred law, towards the Eucharist lived out as a joyful celebration of the whole community that nourishes our faith, helps us grow in solidarity, and awakens our hope in the Risen Jesus Christ. Throughout these years, we have indeed moved forward in important ways. We are far from those frequently muttered Masses celebrated in Latin, in which the priests “read” the Mass and the Christian people came just to «hear» Mass or «assist» at the celebrations. But aren’t we still celebrating the Eucharist in a routine and boring manner?

It’s undeniable that people are abandoning the Sunday practice at an alarming rate, in part because they don’t find in our celebrations the atmosphere, the clear word, the expressive ritual, the stimulating welcome that they need to nourish their weak and failing faith. All of us, pastors and laity alike, need to ask ourselves what are we doing so that the Eucharist would be «the center and the culmination of the Christian community’s whole life»? How can our bishops stay so silent and unmoved? Why don’t we believers more forcefully show our concern and our sadness?

The problem is serious but may be soluble. Do we have to stay «stagnant» in our way of celebrating the Eucharist, so unattractive to men and women today? Is this centuries-old liturgy the best one that can help us to bring to reality that memorable supper of Jesus where we so admirably concentrate the nucleus of our faith?


The table of fellowship

Sitting down together to a meal can generate a special feeling of togetherness. Each of us will have our own memories of table companionship or fellowship. Many of these will be happy experiences of celebration and laughter, of love received and shared. Some memories of table fellowship may be sad, times when we were more aware of one who was absent than of those who were present. Jesus shared table many times with his disciples. It is likely that, when sharing food with his disciples, he also shared with them his vision of God’s kingdom . At table, the disciples imbibed something of Jesus’ mind and heart and spirit. Of all the meals he shared with them, the meal that stayed in their memory more than any other was their last meal together, what came to be known as the last supper. Today’s gospel gives us Mark’s account, his word-picture, of that last supper.

This last meal Jesus shared with his disciples stood out in their memory, capturing the imagination of generations of disciples right up to ourselves. He did more than share his vision with the disciples; he gave them himself in a way he had never done before, and in a way that anticipated the death he would die for them and for all, on the following day. In giving himself in the form of the bread and wine of the meal, he was declaring himself to be their food and drink. In calling on them to take and eat, to take and drink, he was asking them to take their stand with him, to give themselves to him as he was giving himself to them.

It was because of that supper and of what went on there that we are here in this church today. Jesus intended his last supper to be a beginning rather than an end. It was the first Eucharist. Ever since that meal, the church has gathered regularly in his name, to do and say what he did and said at that last supper–taking bread and wine, blessing both, breaking the bread and giving both for disciples to eat and drink.

Jesus continues to give himself as food and drink to his followers. He also continues to put it up to his followers to take their stand with him, to take in all he stands for, living by his values, walking in his way, even if that means the cross. Whenever we come to Mass and receive the Eucharist, we are making a number of important statements. We are acknowledging Jesus as our bread of life, as the one who alone can satisfy our deepest hungers. We are also declaring that we will throw in our lot with him, as it were, that we will follow in his way and be faithful to him all our lives, in response to his faithfulness to us. In that sense, celebrating the Eucharist is not something we do lightly. Our familiarity with the Mass and the frequency with which we celebrate it can dull our senses to the full significance of what we are doing. Every time we gather for the Eucharist, we find ourselves once more in that upper room with the first disciples, and the last supper with all it signified is present again to us.


Remembering … Corpus Christi

Remembering and forgetting are very much part of our lives. We remember some people with a building… or a park…or a statue in their honour. Long ago the Egyptian Pharaohs built huge, stone pyramids to be remembered. Can you name two people that we remember with a statue on O’Connell Street, Dublin?
(By the way, this lighted candle in our church is to remember all young people sitting exams.)

Along with remembering we also forget.It is ok to forget some things and sometimes! But if you forget someones birthday or wedding anniversary. Does it matter? Or I forget to pray for someone’s mam or dad at Mass. Does it matter?

Jesus also asked to be remembered. He asks us to remember his words

• He wants us to remember his examples and sayings about mercy.

• He wants us to remember his welcome and open-table meals.

• He wants us to remember his words and his actions about the Kingdom of God

• He wants us to remember his future Kingdom of heaven

• He wants us to remember his command to love one another.

• He wants us to remember Gods faithfulness to us in his death and resurrection .

Jesus gave specific instructions how we were to remember him. Before leaving this world He gathered his friends around a table, took the everyday food of those days – Bread and Wine – then said a blessing prayer and broke the bread.

He told his friends to share this food and drink. In this way they would remember Jesus – and make present God’s faithfulness to us through his life- giving death and resurrection. He told them that they should do this regularly. Then early Christian communities met in homes to eat the bread and drink the wine.

Today we gather in buildings constructed specially for gathering and worship. We remember God’s faithfulness to us in Jesus’ death and resurrection .. It still works. Jesus asked to be remembered – and He is.. This very day here among us.
(P.L.)

19 Responses

  1. Kevin Walters

    “He also continues to put it up to his followers to take their stand with him, to take in all he stands for, living by his values, walking in his way, even if that means the cross”.

    The above statement resonates with me as I see the (Sacrament) Eucharistic sacrifice as drawing us in to participate with Him in the self-giving sacrifice (Serving of the Truth) of the cross, by attempting to emulate Him in obedience to our Fathers divine Will. In doing so we confront in humility the reality of own lives, as it is in the serving of the Truth, that flies and weeds are scattered from amongst us, in that the Eucharistic sacrifice when willingly embraced gives us the grace to do this.

    We all carry our own experiences with us and our views are influenced by them. There is a culture within the church that is is difficult to explain if you are an outsider as I am. I have observed for over thirty five difficult years that there is a war going on within the church, I have referred it, in been similar to a Chess Board next to every black one stands a white one and that the church is losing, this can be seen in declining congregations, rather than describe this as “It’s undeniable that people are abandoning the Sunday practice at an alarming rate” I would say Siphoned off into another culture that is one of relativism”. The only way to combat this is in the serving the Truth.

    At present there is a lot of talk on “table of fellowship”

    From the link below
    “Church Structural Change through Small Christian Communities”

    https://acireland.ie/an-easter-experience-memorial-celebration/#comment-9983

    I believe that “celebrating the Eucharist is not something we do lightly”

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  2. Joe O'Leary

    ‘At present there is a lot of talk on “table of fellowship.”’

    That is perhaps the central plank of the liturgical renewal of the Council. Jesus taught in a fleshly way by celebrated meals with those he wished to reach and enacting the graciousness of God in this way. The Last Supper was his supreme creation as a meal-event that would endure until the end of the age. The visible image of the invisible God became invisible again in the Ascension, though continuing to dwell invisibly in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. But today’s feast adds a complement: a new visible and fleshly presence of Christ in the signs of bread and wine and in the gathered community. The church itself is essentially a table fellowship, the eucharist in all its dimensions being its central activity.

    The celebration of a meal of friendship should not be so terribly difficult, should not be stilted or become a dreary routine. When it’s done in the right spirit, it shows what a wholesome change of church life was brought about by the liturgical renewal.

  3. Sean O'Conaill

    ‘Table fellowship’ was surely in the beginning a matter of the sharing of food by those who had it to spare, with those who lacked. It therefore also involved ‘sacrifice’ – understood as generous self-giving on the model of Jesus himself.

    Now this is never unpacked, in my experience, and the meaning of Christian sacrifice is never explored either – e.g. in the context of want or homelessness. Typically there is a collection for the support of clergy and church infrastructure – and this is ported to the altar at the Offertory. That’s what happens with us anyway – while the regular collection for ‘St Vincent dePaul’ happens after mass and never goes near the altar. How does this help us to understand the offertory and its organic relation to sacrifice? And what of the many likely other ‘sacrifices’ of members of the congregation? How simple it would be for the celebrant to include those in the Offertory prayer – but that never happens either.

    This routinisation of never-considered practices reinforces the sense that younger generations have of the irrelevance of the typical Irish Eucharist -its total loss of meaning as a contrast to the world outside.

    Unless we are consciously contrasting our ‘community celebration’ (and the ethic of sacrifice understood as generosity) with the ‘individualism’ that is destroying community simultaneously in that world, we are in a doomed trance. The absence of younger generations should be forcing us into wakefulness, but who will sound the wake-up bell?

    Meanwhile quarterly meetings of bishops occur at Maynooth (there was one last week). A reading of the press release for that proves that once again none of the elephants in the living-room suffered a moment’s inconvenience.

    http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2017/06/14/statement-from-the-summer-2017-general-meeting-of-the-irish-catholic-bishops-conference/

    Elephant avoidance – and especially the ignoring of the deep crisis of continuity now just round the corner – has become the summit skill of the ICBC as we await a papal visit.

  4. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Perhaps that table environment was the only way to empower the community to live non-violently – in small groups where insight and direction could flourish. That might not be a popular opinion but today, coming together with people around a table only for us all to leave and become, once again, a cog in our current culture that encourages violence whether economic, militaristic, or environmental is a little hypocritical, is it not? We can’t have 2 or more kings – it doesn’t work that way, unless those kings are committed to servitude.

    It’s not only about being a good person at this stage. The best of us are still a spectator in this play. Bring people together to act like Jesus, not only to pray, and the kids will begin to show up and take part. They would love to be inspired to end the cycle of violence in the world but this inspiration involves acts of kindness, not words. Pope Francis sounded the wake-up bell and it rings every hour on the hour.

  5. Kevin Walters

    Joe, Sean & Lloyd

    “The church itself is essentially a table fellowship, the eucharist in all its dimensions being its central activity”.

    “It therefore also involved ‘sacrifice’ – understood as generous self-giving on the model of Jesus himself”. Now this is never unpacked, in my experience, and the meaning of Christian sacrifice is never explored either

    “Bring people together to act like Jesus”

    All acts of kindness are to be highly commended as is Pope Francis emphasis on a Church for the poor, as they mirror the actions/teachings of Jesus and in them we see love in action. But it is fair to say many none Christian groups/Cultures in this regard mirror His teachings also.

    Jesus says
    “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world: to testify of the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.”

    In testifying to the Truth
    We see His actions (self-giving) in the serving of the truth, in the Cleansing of the Temple, demonstrating to mankind its liberation effect from the abuse of power, it is this testimony coupled with His homing in on the hypocrisy of the Pharisees that ultimately leads to His death.
    Christian action(Worship)has to be underpinned by the Serving of the Truth as truth is the essence of love.
    Our leaders need the courage to teach by EXAMPLE, in been prepared to suffer for the Truth by embracing the wounds (Sufferings) of Christ and in so doing ask all of us to do the same, be an EXAMPLE serve and be prepared to suffer for the Truth in humility, by acknowledging their own human frailty (Cover up/blasphemy in God’s house) and in so doing courageously, expose the evil that enslaves mankind, our sinfulness.

    “Francis said Milani taught the importance of giving the poor the capacity to speak up for themselves, “because without the word (~Truth~), there’s no dignity and therefore no justice or freedom.” ~ My insertion~

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  6. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    “All acts of kindness are to be highly commended as is Pope Francis emphasis on a Church for the poor, as they mirror the actions/teachings of Jesus and in them we see love in action. But it is fair to say many none Christian groups/Cultures in this regard mirror His teachings also.”

    Kevin – these kinds acts are great but Jesus can’t materialise in this culture so our affinity towards those life lessons that he provided at one time, might leave humanity falling short right now. He can continue to give us advice in his teachings but sadly, he offered no support on how to reset this current mimetic. It is much too interconnected now. I believe that everything he did up until his death/resurrection was to prevent what essentially took hold and brought us to this destination so we don’t necessarily find the answer for today’s problems. His way was to prevent this current status quo. Had Jesus triumphed, we as a people would not have progressed society in a way that causes so much disparity for others – that would be at the forefront of thought.

    If there had been a reason for a disobedient group to flourish in 1st century, it was decrying the mental hijacking of societies by an elite. It was common knowledge that during the time of Jesus, the elite were so bent on controlling thoughts and minds that they started wars of destabilisation which allowed them to advance causes necessary for the state to flourish, much like we see today. Dick Cheney, some might say the mastermind of the Iraq war, is in southern Syria drilling for oil with other billionaires. At what point do they head to Africa to address concerns that affect humanity? They don’t.

    You, Sean, Joe and I are now intricate cogs in a doomsday scenario time clock – our small actions are counter-acted million-fold by the political/economic system that we support which feeds the violence and disparity that is perpetuated in the world. You could be the best person in the world, with the greatest compassion and do so much good in your community and help any fellow human as much as you can but each morning you wake up and walk out of your house to do your daily grind, you’ve contributed to this disparity in some way. Such is life in the Western world. There is no ‘how to’ guide to lead us out of this. That is the truth. This normal daily life is not evil – it is the status quo that we continue to protect by acting in unison on a subconscious level.

    We need to create a new mimetic and take every opportunity to do so. This pyramid is only going to be inverted for so long. That clock is still ticking. Destroy the desire for the ‘alpha-commodity’ on the planet and replace it with something that can be harvested by one and all.

  7. Sean O'Conaill

    There is no need for a ‘new mimetic’, Lloyd Allan. It is a complete mistake to argue that Jesus ‘can’t materialise in this culture’. Everyone who seriously gets the Gospel is a materialisation of Jesus, because, through the grace of his Holy Spirit, they imitate the simplicity and generosity of his life. That is what Francis of Assisi was doing in the 1200s, and that is what Pope Francis is calling us all to do now

    To say that because e.g. Cheney et al have no interest in Africa it is not enough to be generous and compassionate, is to be fixated on those addicted to wealth and power. Had Jesus done that he would have spent his time complaining about Tiberius, Pilate and Herod, and done nothing to exemplify the only model of human life that is now sustainable.

    It is true that it will take time to undo our complicity with unjust economic patterns, but a ‘new mimetic’ implies to me a new model so who would that be? The search for simplicity and non-complicity – a sustainable society – is ongoing, and those who serve the poor, oblivious of the mimetic models of commercial advertising (and of Dick Cheney too) are piloting the way. To embark on that is to invert the pyramid in one’s own ambience – there is no other way to do it.

    To spend any time with people who do that is to experience the kingdom of God. They have always been a minority, but that ticking clock is already conveying the utter foolishness and vulgarity of ‘luxury’ lifestyles – proving the wisdom of the beatitudes. Everyone who seeks simplicity meanwhile will contribute just a little to a just and sustainable society – and to the wisdom it will require. No ‘new mimetic’ will ever substitute for the ideal one we already have.

  8. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Sean @ 8,

    “There is no need for a ‘new mimetic’, Lloyd Allan. It is a complete mistake to argue that Jesus ‘can’t materialise in this culture’. Everyone who seriously gets the Gospel is a materialisation of Jesus, because, through the grace of his Holy Spirit, they imitate the simplicity and generosity of his life. That is what Francis of Assisi was doing in the 1200s, and that is what Pope Francis is calling us all to do now.”

    So two questions : Who, in your opinion, gets the gospel? and second: How are they disconnected from the violence that is interwoven into our daily lives? Me saying Jesus can materialize in this day and age you take as an insult but it is not meant as such – it is meant for you understand that individual autonomy was at a very high level 2000 years ago not like it is today. Today, you wake up, eat breakfast, put fuel in your car, stop off for a coffee and read your daily newspaper and you’ve just contributed to disparity, which is connected to violence. It’s a tough pill to swallow – anyone following the gospels to a “T” today, would live isolated from this interconnected society or would be seeking ways to do so. If you don’t believe that, then you don’t understand how these times are truly the apocalypse Girard wrote about.

    “Gets the gospel” – do you mean understands it or lives it because they are two completely different items. How did Jesus’s followers end up, by the way? He didn’t have to complain about Herod and co., his gospel speaks for itself yet so many of us are attributing a solution to his human failure on the cross. The solution was there but not in a society that has done apparently everything the exact opposite way it should have. If anyone gets the gospel, they are no where to be found in terms of positions of leadership today.

    The time it will take to undo the complicity is time you don’t have, nor I and dealing with a generation who are waiting for non-mimetic acts rather than more of the same-old, same-old, well their generation is not meant to last.

    No mimetic will ever come out of thinking – it’s actions that create a new mimetic. If it has been so ideal, explain why are we here in this state, on the brink of disaster – because no one gets it?

  9. Joe O'Leary

    I agree with Sean. Jesus formed a new community, leaving the plutocrats and tyrants to engineer their own downfall. A functioning Christian community is a force for good that cannot be underestimated, and that has no need to be intimidated or disheartened by the structures of inequality and violence. Or as Luther puts it:

    Der Fürst dieser Welt,
    Wie sau’r er sich stellt,
    Tut er uns doch nicht,
    Das macht, er ist gericht’t,
    Ein Wörtlein kann ihn fällen.

    The prince of this world
    How sour he comes on!
    Yet he harms us none:
    That means he’s judged, undone!
    One little word can fell him!

  10. Kevin Walters

    Lloyd & Sean @6&7
    Thank you Lloyd for your comment

    “Jesus can’t materialise in this culture so our affinity towards those life lessons that he provided at one time, might leave humanity falling short right now”………..

    Jesus can be materialised within us and our spiritual leaders as He can be seen to triumph over evil in each individual heart, His way (Truth/Love) was and still is the means to liberate mankind from the effects of sin.

    “the elite were so bent on controlling thoughts and minds”
    This scenario goes much further back than the time of Jesus. I have given you analogy once before to the Tower of Babel, mankind was scattered they were not of one tongue (Mind) self-interest was (and still is) the driver. We all know what needs to be done but we cannot come up with a worldwide consensual working plan, the top of the pyramid is often supported by many lower down the pyramid and those at the base can often be bought to serve the top.

    I have proposed a way forward that would create a humble church rather than one of justification (Relativism) that incorporates this question that confronts all from the leadership of the Church to individuals who participate on this site
    Is an act of humility too much to ask?

    If this act of humility were to be embraced, it would transform the Church by recapturing our understanding of the (Way of Truth) the humble mind and heart of Jesus Christ. As it would force us in honesty/humility to confront our own individual failings/sins creating a culture of honesty within the church, encouraging us to confront evil in all its forms also helping to bringing to an end “the status quo that we continue to protect by acting in unison on a subconscious level”

    Lloyd I believe this comment by Sean encapsulates the way forward as it points us to the fact that true change can only come about in each individual heart by serving Jesus Christ (Truth/Love)

    “Everyone who seriously gets the Gospel is a materialisation of Jesus, because, through the grace of his Holy Spirit, they imitate the simplicity and generosity of his life.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  11. Sean O'Conaill

    #8 “If anyone gets the gospel, they are no where to be found in terms of positions of leadership today.”

    Where are you looking for ‘leadership’, Lloyd Allan? To the state? That is not where Jesus looked – or to the summit of his own time’s religious pyramids either. Or to the captains of commerce. In his kingdom anyone can lead from where they are, in that particular space.

    Today, as you maybe can see, it is the homeless and the refugees who lead – those who are indeed totally disconnected from the societal networks we have built. But they can survive only via the generosity of the homed, those who contribute as much as they can from their income. And via the leadership of those who live for their cause – for example our Peter McVerry in Dublin.

    As I understand it, you are promoting a model of leadership that links charitable giving with the need to free the global grid from carbon. How can that model be totally disconnected and uncompromised in current circumstances? Are you not complaining fruitlessly about the absence of a total purity that even you can’t model yourself? Or are you disconnected completely from the grid?

  12. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Well Kevin @ 10, this is where certain points that I have addressed are just passed over and denying them further explains why we are in the state we are in.

    How you act towards others is a materialisation of Jesus Christ but in a whole sense, not just in how you personally treat people but also in what human systems you support. It’s important to realise this human system is who you are first and foremost because of its size and power and your now secondary position in society accounts for your daily acts of goodness. Like I mentioned, by what acts of goodness are we disconnected from these systems we support? No one will answer this questions because it implicates us all and still a very tough pill to swallow – to deny they are interconnected denies the very reason Christ was crucified.

    If Jesus Christ was trying to prevent the dominion of these systems over man, and many a theologian before all of us has proposed this, then his humanly death on the cross was a failure. His lesson, could we not all agree, was that we should really ever have one true king in our lives and we should act accordingly. Can you imitate the simplicity and generosity of his life connected to these systems or is this a delusion?

    So for me to say that Jesus can’t materialise in this day and age doesn’t have a negative connotation – it is not implied in the least on my end – it’s just that his main directive was to prevent this current society from forming. If Jesus left the plutocrats and tyrants to engineer their own downfall, when did that happen, Joe @ 9? The only downfall we are experiencing is that of all mankind right now, is it not?

    A functioning Christian community means that it is open to dialogue and consultation for all the baptised, equally and that in itself, if done and not just promoted, is a new mimetic but it means nothing if it is not employed. An inverted structure in the church is a new mimetic in that it puts all those in leadership positions into roles of servants which is what is needed right now.

    The systems of inequality and violence on this planet don’t need to intimidate or dishearten Christians Joe @ 9 – we were mainly the people who put them there by passive acceptance of the ruling elite who continue to use them to their benefit today – we can’t deny our complicity – they are a Christian creation by all accounts.

    So you might be right Sean, perhaps there doesn’t need to be a new mimetic at all and everything is just fantastic as is but for anyone out there putting organisations, who say one thing but perhaps do another, to the test, well I guess it is up to them to discover the truth. I just hope to see this inverted, open to dialogue, consultative Church that Pope Francis has been promoting and perhaps less of the phenomenon of exclusionary violence that is sometimes perpetuated when members of a group become rivals.

    One thing is for sure, not having this website as a sounding board for ideas would be of great detriment to all of us. It at least gives us the opportunity to air concerns and ask questions which will continue to be the only way towards any type of knowledge.

    http://www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/%E2%80%98between-politics-and-apocalypse%E2%80%99-ren%C3%A9-girard%E2%80%99s-reading-global-crisis

  13. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Sean @ 11,

    “Where are you looking for ‘leadership’, Lloyd Allan? To the state? That is not where Jesus looked – or to the summit of his own time’s religious pyramids either. Or to the captains of commerce. In his kingdom anyone can lead from where they are, in that particular space.”

    I look for it anywhere I can find it or where it announces to be. It seems Jesus didn’t discriminate against any of those people Sean. I’m sure as he saw them as normal everyday sinners just like everyone else – it’s an equal playing field. I’m not exactly sure Jesus experienced this as simply a temporal space as we do – there is a whole lot of protectionism in this space that doesn’t need to be I’m sure we can agree and that particular space, in 1st century, autonomy was a massive component unlike today where everything has become so reliant on these structures. You name the structure and I’m sure any 13-17 year old could explain how it creates disparity.

    “As I understand it, you are promoting a model of leadership that links charitable giving with the need to free the global grid from carbon. How can that model be totally disconnected and uncompromised in current circumstances? Are you not complaining fruitlessly about the absence of a total purity that even you can’t model yourself? Or are you disconnected completely from the grid?”

    Sean I’d like to take credit for that but Pope Francis blew that trumpet in 2015 under the counsel of Sean McDonagh which solidified the beginning stages of a Hopi prophecy. This structure can’t be totally disconnected at this stage because it is fuelled by people who are still passively contributing to disparity in some way, shape or form. If support is shown by advancing the structural changes where they can happen in the Catholic Church, the alpha commodity in this structure is pushed out on an aggressive timeline while assurances that the most affected by climate will have a support structure they will eventually need. What is not really spoken of is that $158tn is at risk and a human resource of 1.2bn sufferers.

    The model of leadership is simply an attempt at creating the grass-roots movement that could reduce the church’s carbon footprint with the involvement of local artists within a diocese’s membership. It’s not about leadership – it’s using the inverted pyramid to establish an equal partnership among those who feel they have works to contribute to living Laudato si’ and making sure everyone in parishes far and wide understand this inter-connectivity and how we contribute to this system every day. Again, it is a tough pill to swallow. If Catholics can’t rise to the challenge, I honestly don’t know what group of people can. What could prevent this from happening? Catholic culture?

    Now where it concerns complaining fruitlessly – well I have a tendency to stick to the truth as I see it in an effort to advance the cause – my problem is that I see a whole lot of solutions where people see problems and obstacles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told that what I’m proposing is invalid in today’s culture despite Pope Francis publishing Laudato si’, inverting the pyramid, and the countless examples of how leadership are predictably acting in unison for all the wrong reasons – they are just going with the flow that got them there. I’m not disconnected from the grid Sean so I’m just like you and perhaps everyone else here – I’m a part of this system that perpetuates violence as much as anyone else, not to mention with children who are environmentally and chemically sensitive born into a system that is not meant to last.

    If the reformers can’t see the challenge before us, as proclaimed by Pope Francis, no one will because you have shown a true commitment to human rights, equality, and courage in the attempt at changing a 2000 year old structure. If there were a dozen people I think anyone could count on, they reside within this membership, without a doubt. My bets have always been on you and will remain there.

    Thank you for the feedback!

  14. Kevin Walters

    Sean & Lloyd @11&12

    Sean to Lloyd
    “Are you not complaining fruitlessly about the absence of a total purity that even you can’t model yourself?”

    Total purity may not be possible but total honesty is, the Christian mode of our Church should reflect the heart and mind of Jesus Christ and should be manifest in the serving of the Truth “Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.” if it did so a new dawn would break within the Church giving mankind the encouragement to confront challenges such as global pollution/warming etc.

    Lloyd
    “How you act towards others is a materialisation of Jesus Christ but in a whole sense, not just in how you personally treat people”

    You are absolutely correct Lloyd as love without Truth is not true love of God, as we serve all others when we serve the Truth, in that when we serve the Truth we love/protect our neighbour from evil and sadly the Church has failed to place an emphasis on the serving of the Truth, this needs to be corrected as Truths within the Gospels have been stifled.

    Many of our leaders proclaim love of God but because of Clericalism: a policy of maintaining or increasing the power of a religious hierarchy; it appears that many have rejected (Forgotten) individually who they were meant to serve and in doing so the edifice is now collapsing.
    It is fair to say that those who say “we have (are Justified through) faith” without obedience to or the serving of the Truth, deceive themselves.

    Fundamentally the leadership of the Church is dishonest as it refuses to deal with the established reality of the on-going situation, one of spiritual corruption, that is the abuse of power and this abuse will not be touched or dealt with as long as no one takes personal responsibility for maladministration manifest in our present time in the abuse crises (Cover up) that was assisted by many including some of the laity, others turned a blind eye to the situation and in doing so betray the Truth (Jesus Christ).

    It is also fair to say that if the bright lamp of Truth is not held above the church now, all new models of Church will eventually follow the same path that is one of on-going degeneration. This can be seen in the on-going scandal of Shepherd’s cohabiting, this problem would not exist if we as the people of God served the Truth, this also needs to be dealt with transparently, as this situation undermines the faith of God’s people and their credibility in the real world, while at the same time revealing the inadequacies (Lack of moral authority) of the leadership of the Church.

    Lloyd I refer you back to our running dialogue and my posts to you, which cover many of the points that you have made currently, they also demonstrate a way for the Church to go forward by serving the Truth in humility.
    Posts 3-9-18 in the Link below

    http://www.associationofcatholicpriests.ie/2017/02/i-think-therefore-i-am-godly-and-human/#comment-87516

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  15. Sean O'Conaill

    #13 Lloyd Allan promotes “an attempt at creating the grass-roots movement that could reduce the church’s carbon footprint with the involvement of local artists within a diocese’s membership.”

    This prompts me to ask what practical steps have been taken so far in Ireland – by the church – to reduce its carbon footprint? All those church rooves – are any yet fitted with solar panels? Have any dioceses or parishes moved on this, or towards siting wind generators on elevated church lands? Has Trocaire any interest in such initiatives?

    The role of artists is another issue. The post-Vatican II surge of church building in Ireland promoted a degree of artistic patronage, but there is currently a climate of hostility to Catholicism in urban Ireland. The intellectual confidence needed to turn retreat into advance, and to create a climate of collaboration between eco-warriors, the arts and the church, has not yet emerged in the aftermath of traumatic scandals. Lloyd Allan’s vision of such a ‘front’ is compelling, but who else could join that just now?

  16. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Kevin @ 14 – thank you for your words of encouragement. Many people say “Be the change you want to see…” but that in itself represents a call to action and not simply a state of humility – there is a certain authoritarianism that calls for matters to be dealt with before forgiveness can be granted and I’m just not there at this stage – I wake up in the morning and I see sinners. I think it is more productive to forgive everyone and move on to acts that show repentance. Kevin, can you forgive these people without this act of humility? If you can, my advice is to do so and serve as an example to others. You quote “Sherpherd’s co-habitating…” as a problem. I support anyone who feels called to do so for reasons of conscience/mental health. How could anyone support a non-celibate, female inclusive clergy structure yet judge priests for acting like natural human beings? Does Canon Law hold that influence over us?

    With today’s complexities, salvation could very well be a 12 step program. Some of us are committed to saving the Church – some believe the only way to do so is to have the Church take the lead in saving humanity from its current crises. Kevin, I believe you can’t do one without doing the other as they are inextricably linked but we certainly don’t move forward thinking anyone owes us anything. Forgiveness provides the solid foundation; humble acts will keep us close to the ground so pyramids are not constructed during this rebuilding process.

    Sean @ 15 : I think the Church has remained neutral on Laudato si’. They see it as an engaging document but still don’t realise the repercussions of not completely divesting (portfolio and structural) from fossil fuels – the structural requirement is as important as the portfolio. Trocaire has published documents on their website and when you get into the heart of the “100” list, it addresses investment on renewable energy sources under the heading “Consider investing in:”.

    Laudato si’ is so complete a document that it requires a very complex rethink of doing things which in terms of importance, disconnecting from structural systems that create disparity and therefore violence is paramount. It is step one and once achieved, the other implementations are given true traction and value.

    Sean : “The intellectual confidence needed to turn retreat into advance, and to create a climate of collaboration between eco-warriors, the arts and the church, has not yet emerged in the aftermath of traumatic scandals. Lloyd Allan’s vision of such a ‘front’ is compelling, but who else could join that just now?”

    Sean, I must say I’m not a fan of the term eco-warrior – I get a vision of someone hugging a tree. For me, this boils down to human rights and more importantly rights of the unborn and future generations – I’m hugging my children and their children and trying to extend hands to places like Malawi and the Philippines. If the fundraiser can be pushed into a second year, support for these locations is the focus and solar installations could provide a 30-40 year support window for aid. The appointment of a Nigerian papal nuncio comes at great time and Trocaire could be instrumental in dealing with the aftermath of soon to be perpetual fund raising through solar harvesting.

    Our way of life has direct consequences on future generations and reforming this way of life is now in the forefront of Catholic thought thanks to Pope Francis. This is not so much my vision of things but only an attempt at bringing Laudato si’ to church fund raising and equally up to pace with what is currently tried and true and happening in the world around us. It is designed so that there is not a huge requirement for human resources, planning and implementation – only a need to recruit for the available artists in the membership and have them agree to submit their works. I know within the membership there are authors, photographers, musicians, poets – both men and women who can submit creations. So recruitment of volunteers usually means hours of time and work but in this scenario it doesn’t.

    This approach in terms of creativity and design only works within an inverted church scenario because it puts commitment to the test because time is not a factor – it doesn’t seek time invested. It requires collaboration and not reinvention as its most important component is the 6 men and 6 women who have the works that can be digitised for distribution and a clergy who is willing to commit to 5 simple, but specific points of the “100 ways to implement” that Trocaire has provided:

    https://www.trocaire.org/resources/parishes/climate-justice-parish-resources

    This is all that is needed to support the creation of this fundraiser, not to mention implementation of the small media team (Loud Odyssey) which can eventually transition into a tool to enhance all future communications within the ACP/ACI and global reform network, as a secondary benefit of all of this.

    September 1st is fast approaching and it’s been 2 years since Laudato si’ was established. For those of us who want to take full advantage of the inverted church scenario, it’s high time an outlet should be presented to move this beautiful document into a way of parish life. Future generations are counting on it. The ACP clergy could provide the perfect pilot project location for such an endeavour – a first of its kind carbon-free parish fundraiser born and raised in Ireland.

    I think that every crisis gives rise to opportunity and its important to understand that Pope Francis is providing a resounding “yes” to the development of these activities in and around parishes. It makes “Who else could join that just now?” a very difficult question to answer for Catholics especially in the era of the inverted pyramid.

    We are all well-versed in scapegoating at this stage, or should be hopefully, so we know that exclusionary violence is never an option.

  17. Kevin Walters

    Lloyd Allan MacPherson @ 16

    “Be the change you want to see…” but that in itself represents a call to action and not simply a state of humility” – —

    I have strived to be the change I want see by looking at His teachings with honesty and in doing so I continue to confront the reality of my sinful nature. I wake up in the morning and see a sinner, myself. It is not my place to forgive everybody/mankind but I do possess good will to all men including those who I have encountered personally during my life time in the sense that I see my own fallen nature within them and in doing so I do not judge them as I desire for them what I desire for myself our Father’s love and mercy.

    “can you forgive these people without this act of humility? If you can, my advice is to do so and serve as an example to others”…..

    Is it possible to collude with ongoing evil and forgive that evil at the same time?

    This is what your question demands of me my answer is absolutely no, as to do so without “this act of humility” would condone the ongoing action of evil men who wear the mantle of Jesus Christ. The example that I would be giving to others would be that of of collusion with the works of the evil one.

    “You quote “Shepherd’s cohabitating…” as a problem. I support anyone who feels called to do so for reasons of conscience/mental health. How could anyone support a non-celibate, female inclusive clergy structure yet judge priests for acting like natural human beings? Does Canon Law hold that influence over us?…………

    This situation of Shepherd’s cohabitating goes far deeper than Cannon Law Lloyd as it involves compromised individuals susceptible to manipulation by evil by ignoring this situation that is known by some creates and sustains club culture (Collusion) within the Church this collusion/culture has assisted in the decimation of the flock. Cohabiting priests make a mockery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice before God’s people, the bishops appear to be impotent (Have they been compromised also?). I wrote previously on another link “we have to conclude many made their vows immaturely, this needs to be tackled as it contributes to the church’s ongoing loss of credibility as an institution and because of this many cultural Catholics have been drawn into the Mob as they have been unable to stand against the claim of moral hypocrisy and the on-going unaccountability of the Church, and for this reason the record of selfless service of the vast majority of religious men and woman is now in the present moment been expunged from public consciousness”.

    Moral authority has to be restored I have proposed that an amnesty could proceed after “ A public act of humility” by the leadership of the church, as a healing process could commence for many who have suffered injustice, including young men who were drawn into the clerical culture at a very young age (made their vows immaturely).

    From your link Lloyd
    “The same mind-set which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty”(175)

    We do not have to look far to see this mind-set, as it was first seen in the Babylonians, that is one of self-interest that is to be found within everyman and is manifest in our present time by the abuse of power of the elite within the world and sadly also by the elite within the Church as they “were/are so bent on controlling thoughts and minds” as with the men of Babel, they rejected (Forgot) individually who they were meant to serve and in doing so the edifice collapsed.

    For Catholics the current crisis within the Church is the loss of moral authority by the leadership that stems from abuse of power “spiritual corruption”, unless its authority is restored and propagated, humanity will not save itself from itself.

    “Forgiveness provides the solid foundation”;

    Yes it does Lloyd so

    Is an act of humility too much to ask?

    In that it would heal the Church and restore her moral authority creating a solid foundation (Rock/Truth) on which to build upon and in doing so demonstrate good governance (Accountability) for mankind to imitate, without which the elimination of poverty and global pollution will not reach full fruition.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  18. Sean O'Conaill

    #15 ” …what practical steps have been taken so far in Ireland – by the church – to reduce its carbon footprint? All those church rooves – are any yet fitted with solar panels? Have any dioceses or parishes moved on this, or towards siting wind generators on elevated church lands?”

    So far, no answer whatsoever. Is Ireland the stoniest possible ground for Laudato Si’?

  19. Lloyd Allan MacPherson

    Well Sean @ 18, Laudato si’ speaks to a legacy. Now, given the response that is required and the implications a lack of response dictates – the clerical abuse scandal in the church has now been reduced to a speck of sand in this desert of the real. The good news is the same applies with a positive, coordinated response. Despite the situation you may think you face via Irish context, the ground is more than fertile.

    My father, who was a conservative Catholic in his early days and an EMoHC, has adopted the spirit of a reformer in his old age, perhaps due to his grand-daughter identifying as pansexual. He is approaching his eightieth year and still says to this day, “You can’t escape from reality no matter how many bibles you stack in front of you.”


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