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Eucharist, Morality, and Social Justice
Back in October I was invited to give a talk at my local Catholic Information Center about how the Eucharistic Liturgy is the place where we encounter the living Christ and, through that encounter, we are made divine, transformed into Christ. Last week I was invited to come back and give a followup presentation about how the Eucharistic Liturgy is connected to the moral life, the virtues, and social justice.
The thesis of this talk is that the Eucharistic liturgy heals and transforms me into Christ, empowering me, like the apostles after Pentecost, to bring about God’s Kingdom in the world.
Here are three key passages from Pope Francis that give a preview of what I discuss:
“The celebration [the liturgy] concerns the reality of our being docile to the action of the Spirit who operates through it until Christ be formed in us. The full extent of our formation is our conformation to Christ…This is the purpose for which the Spirit is given, whose action is always and only to confect the Body of Christ. It is that way with the Eucharistic bread, and with every one of the baptized called to become always more and more that which was received as a gift in Baptism; namely, being a member of the Body of Christ. Leo the Great writes, ‘Our participation in the Body and Blood of Christ has no other end than to make us become that which we eat’” (Desiderio Desideravi 41).
Grace, precisely because it builds on nature, does not make us superhuman all at once…If we reject this historical and progressive reality, we can actually refuse and block grace, even as we extol it by our words (Gaudete et Exsultate 50).
“The Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need…or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God; it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity” (Evangelii Gaudium 180).
You can watch the whole talk here!