Eucharistic Conference September 2015

Did you ever wonder how we engage in dialogue to the celebration of the Eucharist? Have you noticed Eucharistic Celebration differences between churches and parishes? If so, our topic last September 17, 2015 during the Eucharistic Conference which is “The Eucharist in the Church Dialogue with Cultures” by Rev. Ronel M. Fulo Jr, SSS will surely explain this paradox between cultures.

Let’s start with how we engage into the celebration with the Eucharist, we do so by doing the following:
– By gathering and forming an assembly of worship
– By listening to and assimilating the Word proclaimed
– We enter into a dialogue of life with the Triune God by eating Christ’s body and blood
– Emerging from the Eucharistic gathering, we are sent to continue and extend this Trinitarian dialogue of life and salvation

These items mentioned above tells us that the Eucharist is a dialogue that constitute both adoration to the Father and service to our brothers and sisters. By doing so, we then fully participate in the so called dialogue with the Eucharistic Celebration.

If you are wondering why we tackle about this, simple, our Dialogue with Cultures is highly important as the Church should incarnate in every race and culture where she finds herself. Therefore, the church must be assimilated into the life of a people that receives her; she cannot remain a stranger to them. Incarnation brings mutual enrichment to people who receive the faith and to the Church who incarnates herself.

Inculturation
is a dynamic translation of the typical edition of the liturgical books. It does not create alternative rites. What it does is translate the Roman rite into the language of the local Church by integrating suitable cultural elements. Examples of inculturation is the use of Bamboo material in making crucifix, Abaca used for Vestments, Gospel and Sacramentary Book Cover, Taize Prayer and other rites.

Inculuration

There is of course, a principle involve here, namely, the need to produce a sense of harmony among different cultural symbols, a kind of unity among various elements, an eloquent symbol of the multicultural and multiethnic community that is gathered in the liturgical assembly. This form of inculturation affirms that in the sight of God and the Church, all races and ethnic groups are equal.

Popular Piety
We are well aware of religious devotions that we Filipinos do. The discourse on the Church’s dialogue with cultures will not be completed without the consideration of the many forms of popular piety that abound the peoples of the continent. Here are some reasons why we give importance to popular piety:
– To recognize the power of popular piety to communicate the Gospel and to draw people to worship.
– To allow some of the linguistic and ritual elements of popular piety to be integrated into the people’s worship so that they will feel more at home at it and experience it as God encountering them in the very concrete realities of their lives.

Examples of popular piety is the annual devotions that we Filipinos do during the festivities of the Nazareno, Sto. Niño, Our Lady of Peñafrancia and more.

PopularPiety

In conclusion, the Eucharist mean much for most Asians because it express many cultural values that they treasure very dearly. Parish and churches may have differences but we are still one in communion with Christ.




Eucharistic Conference August 2015

As part of the preparation for the upcoming 51st International Eucharistic Conference on January 2016, a second conference was successfully given last August 15, 2015 by Fr. Poli Ty, SSS with the theme: Eucharist as Mission, Mission as Dialogue. Below is an excerpt of the talk he gave.

Eucharist as Giving Thanks

Eucharist comes from the greek word “EU (good) – CHARIS (gift)” which means “To give thanks”. As a source, Fr. Poli Ty emphasized that before we do thanksgiving, we must open our eyes to recognize the wonders God continuously receal to us.

As goal, we encouraged our brothers and sisters to celebrate their giftedness of others by being a blessing itself. We live the gospel joyfully.

Eucharist as Memorial of Sacrifice of Christ

The Eucharist is also a Memorial of the Sacrifice of Christ but it should be clear to us all that it is not solely a recollection of past events but also the proclamation of the mighty works of God present in our lives. To “re-member” is become a member again, meaning, to once again be part of a reality, a body. Jesus sacrifice His life for our salvation, to Sacrifice is “To be made holy”. And so, whenever we unite ourselves with the offering of Jesus, we make an offering of ourselves by which we are made holy. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of God’s love!

As source, we were made holy by our Lord’s sacrifice and so the Eucharist serves as our source of courage and strength. As a goal, we say Yes as people redeemed by Christ’s death and resurrection.

Eucharist as sacrament of God’s Presence

Fr. Poli Ty listed some of the ways that Christ is present to His Chruch through the following sacraments:
– In the assembly that have gathered to celebrate
– In His words that is proclaimed
– In the ministers who preside
– Most specially in the Eucharistic species, the bread and wine transformed to His Body and Blood.

It was emphasized that the Eucharist is not a sign, not symbol and not a presentation but it is the actual presence of Christ which encourage us to become what we receive, the Body of Christ. Therefore, we are transformed to be the living presence of Christ whose goal is to encourage others and the community to become witnesses of God’s loving presence.

Eucharist as Paschal Banquet

Jesus established a new covenant which is His relationship with us as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Whenever we do this in memory of him, we participate in the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ.

In the Eucharist, we experience and celebrate what it means to be God’s People, His Church. Therefore as source, we celebrate the Pashcal Mystery and we are in communion with Christ. As goal, we are sent to be bread broken for others.

Concluding Message:

“The offer of life and love by the Father in Jesus Christ is what we celebrate at every Eucharist. This is what we proclaim when we evangelize. This is the Good News of our Salvation.”

For those who would like to join our next conference, here’s the schedule:
September 19, 2015
8:30AM-11:00AM @ Santuarion Eucaristico
Theme: The Eucharist and the Dialogue of Cultures

For more pictures, please check our Facebook album here.




Faultfinders

Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

READINGS

First Reading: GAL 3:7-14

Responsorial Psalm: PS 111:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6

Gospel: LK 11:15-26

 

Homily

Jesus during his life on earth was surrounded with faultfinders. They have openly expressed their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah of God. At everything that Jesus did and said, they were always looking for something to accuse Jesus of inorder to discredit Him and destroy His good reputation.  They were always skeptical and judgmental at Jesus. They refused to accept that what Jesus was doing came from God.They in fact at the end had their way to put Jesus away. They had him suffer death. Their ultimate rejection.

Some fault finders are in our Gospel today. They accused Jesus of liberating individuals from demonic possession, that is expelling demons by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.

“When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
‘By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.’ Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.”

Even if people would accuse him falsely, Jesus was never discouraged. He continued on His mission. Instead of being led away from it, He was even more focused and determined to fulfill God’s plan. He did not let anything and anyone gets on His way, not even the stalking faultfinders.

Let us then examine ourselves. I am a faultfinder or a victim of faultfinders?

You are a faultfinder if you answer YES to these questions. Do I readily judge people? Am I pessimistic at the goodness of others? Do I readily see negative things at people? Do I make up and spread untruthful stories in order to destroy peoples’  lives.  Do I easily misinterpret peoples’ actions and start a rumor about it?  If you are this kind of person, and if you want to be liberated from this unclean spirit, ask Jesus to help you.

If you are a victim of faulfinders, follow the example of Jesus. Stay in the side of God and be strong even if others would try to weaken you with false accusations, even if they try to destroy your life. Move on, focus on doing what is right in the eyes of God and He will bless you. Continue to do good to those who hate you. You will heap burning coals in their hearts and bring them back to God.

 

Image credit: pjmedia.com




Persistence in Prayer

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

READING

First Reading: GAL 3:1-5

Responsorial Psalm: LK 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

Gospel: LK 11:5-13

 

Homily

In our Gospel today, Jesus teaches us persistence in prayer. He said in his story that the friend who asked for bread for his guest in the middle of the night, got what he wanted not because of their friendship but because of his persistence.

“I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.”

Persistence in prayer is not about being demanding to God. We do not demand from God to give us what we want, to make God follow our will. It is instead, an expression of once confidence in God who alone can provide for us. In the story, the man who approached his friend in the middle of the night, had no one to turn to.  His only recourse was his friend. In the same way, we hold on in our prayers that it is only God who can provide for us and there is no other.

Jesus reinfoces his teaching on persistence in prayer when he said further,

“For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?”

This reveals to us that God cares for us. He does not give anything that destroys us. He only gives what is best for us. However, we must ask in faith. We ask not what we want but we ask to receive what God wants to bestow upon us. If we continue on seeking God’s will and never tire searching for it, we will find it. Only those who are looking in wrong places will never find what they are searching for. We, therefore, need to approach God and ask Him to lead us to the right place to find, and that right place is in God Himself.  

Let our persistence in prayer lead us to a greater reliance and confidence on God’s unfailing providence.

 

Image credit: projectinspired.com




God our Father

Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

READINGS

First Reading: GAL 2:1-2, 7-14

Responsorial Psalm:  PS 117:1BC, 2

Gospel: LK 11:1-4

 

Homily

The Jewish patriarchal society provides us with a good background of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, especially about calling God our Father.

In this society, only men can occupy a position of authority in the family and in the community. The father in the family holds authority over women and children who live under the shadow of the head of the family. Moreover, male children are identified by their father’s name and reputation. Let me cite some examples from the Bible. The apostles James and John are identified as sons of Zebedee. In Aramaic the name Barabbas (Matthew 27:16-21) comes from two words “bar”means son and “abbas” means father. He is “son of somebody” who is unknown. It is just saying that he is nobody, a notorious robber at that whose identity leans on his father. Another example is Jesus Himself. He is called Jesus, son of Joseph, the carpenter in John 6:42, or son of David in Luke 18:38. And Joseph, son of David in Mt. 1:20.

The father, with his authority, takes care of his family, provides for his needs, protects them from any harm and gives a name and social acceptance to his children and wife. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray calling God our Father is saying that by this prayer they are submitting themselves to the authority of God. More than our earthly fathers, God our Father never fails to provide for His children,  gives them their daily bread, forgives their offences unconditionally, protects them from any harm and temptation of the evil one.

By teaching us this prayer, Jesus brings us to a covenant relationship with God, a covenant that makes us part of the Divine Family, with God as our Father. Our identity then leans on the name of God. We will be known as sons and daughters of God our Father.  The Lord’s Prayer then is a prayer of God’s children who submit themselves under His Divine authority.

 

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Guardian Angels

When I was small child my parents used to assure me that my guardian angel is always guarding me. Because of that I was always aware that my angel was accompanying me whereever I go, guarding, guiding and protecting me from harm. And as I grew older, my awareness of my angel’s presence lessens. Now, I seldom pray to my guardian angel. Adults seem to think that they do not have guardian angels anymore. For them, angles are only for small children.

Today, on the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, God reminds us that He has assigned for each one of us an angel to guard us in all our ways. They never leave us until we die. This means that our guardian angel has been accompanying us since we were born and has not left us even if we are not conscious of their presence.

In our Gospel, Jesus said,

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Jesus reminded the people to treat little children with reverence since their guardian angels are with them and are always in the presence of God. He started by saying that those who humble themselves like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus did not teach us to be childish in our ways. What He teaches us is about the humility of a child and her dependence on her parents. If we, too, manifest our humility and dependence in God, we will be called great in heaven. Our guardian angels guide us to walk in the ways of humility and dependence on God. A person who is too proud and overly confident about himself in his abilities, fame and wealth is no longer be dependent on God. He has no need of God. Our guardian angels protect us from living this kind of life. They lead us towards God walking in humility and dependence. Their role is to ensure that we are not lost in our earthly pilgrimage towards heaven.

This feast then reminds us to be constantly aware of our guardian angels accompanying us all the days of our life. Let us remember to pray daily,

Angel of God
My guardian dear
To Whom His love
Commits me here
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guard
To rule and guide. Amen

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Memorial of the Guardian Angels

READINGS

First Reading: JB 19:21-27

Responsorial Psalm: PS 27:7-8A, 8B-9ABC, 13-14

Gospel: MT 18:1-5, 10

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Image credit: en.wikipedia.org