The miracle of the EucharistWednesday, August 5, 2020
In these days of the pandemic, I have heard many stories of heroism, of people going out of their way to attend to the needs of others. I am edified in learning about the extraordinary generosity of neighbors who take time to check up on others, to comfort those who have lost loved ones, to contribute to food pantries and to volunteer in parishes and other charitable agencies.
Recently a pastor reported that a woman came to the rectory to make a gift to the parish food pantry. She handed him the $15 she had earned in tips that day as a waitress. And then she asked the pastor to pray for her because at the end of the workday, the owner of the restaurant said they were closing. She now was out of a job.
The pastor insisted that she take her gift back. “No,” she said, “I know there are others who have greater needs, and besides I need to tell myself that even in my need, in my want, I can do something for another.”
That story sums up what we heard about Jesus in the Gospel story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes the weekend of Aug. 2. Upon learning of the death, the murder of John the Baptist, Jesus withdraws, grief stricken, to an out-of-the-way place, much like we all do in moments of tragedy, wanting just to be by ourselves to grieve.
But as soon as he sees the crowd coming to him to be comforted in their pain and sorrow at the death of John the Baptist, he comes away from being withdrawn and extends himself to others. It is here that the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 begins. He allows himself, as he does in the Eucharist, to be bread for others.
That is why it is important to understand the connection between this story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the Eucharist. It is Jesus’ way of telling us that the real miracle involved in the Eucharist is not just that Jesus makes himself present to us, but that he empowers us to move beyond our tendency to withdraw in moments of suffering and become bread broken and shared to nourish others.
This is what took place in the life of that waitress when she realized that even in her want she had the power to do something for those in need. That is what takes place in the Gospel story, as Jesus offers the bread to God in the blessing, empowering him to break and share it. That is what takes place in the Eucharist, allowing us to leave our state of withdrawal and, even if it costs us something, to be bread for others.
Most in our Catholic community in these days are not able to attend Mass and receive Communion. Yet this Gospel story provides us a rich opportunity to more fully understand what we believe about the Eucharist. At the heart of the Eucharist are the words of Jesus that the priest utters at the end of the consecration: “Do this in memory of me.”
These words are an invitation to accept the miracle of the Eucharist in our lives, the miracle of turning from ourselves to others, to live our lives as bread that God accepts and blesses, empowering us to be broken and shared to nourish others. Even if we cannot all receive the Eucharist, we can be Eucharist for others.
Each day we have many opportunities to be Eucharist for others. It may be in helping a neighbor or family member in need, praying for those who are sacrificing for public safety or comforting those who have lost loved ones.
As an archdiocese, we have organized a special COVID-19 Relief Fund, which has to date distributed $3.5 million to assist in restocking food pantries, with burying the dead, with counseling for domestic violence and other needs overseen in our parishes and by Catholic Charities. Please consider helping to build that fund, if you have the means, by contacting us at: COVID-19 Relief Fund, Archdiocese of Chicago, 835 N. Rush St., Chicago, IL 60611; 312-534-7959; or archchicago.org/coronavirus/donate.
Regardless, I invite you to pray about how you can be Eucharist for others and let the miracles begin.
For original article visit https://www.chicagocatholic.com/cardinal-blase-j.-cupich/-/article/2020/08/05/the-miracle-of-the-eucharist
Note from All Saints Episcopal Church
As people of faith, we must work to dismantle systemic racism and strengthen our commitments to racial justice. We envision life in a city that embodies just and safe opportunities for Chicagoans who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). We are called to build upon our commitments to racial justice by boldly standing in solidarity with our actions and words. Through our collaboration with United Power for Action and Justice (UPAJ), we have received an invitation from Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) to serve as “leaven” for a housing development envisioned as the Canaan Homes. The North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC) has identified “promoting homeownership” as an elemental strategy to build a more equitable neighborhood as outlined in the North Lawndale: The Next Chapter Quality of Life Plan from 2018.
United Power has actively listened, shared, and acted in authentic partnership with organizations like NLCCC, LCDC, and a grassroots homeowners group, with the community taking the lead.
What is The Greenlining Campaign?
In response to LCDC’s invitation, All Saints’ Church, Rogers Park is launching the Greenlining Campaign. A history of racist redlining policies, initiated by the federal government’s refusal to insure mortgages in or near Black neighborhoods, and reinforced by local government policies and the action of private institutions, has robbed people of color of wealth across generations. This history has left neighborhoods devastated by economic divestment and a lack of quality housing. The Greenlining Campaign will contribute:
• $200,000 toward the construction of the first model Canaan Home
• $15,000 to support three months of salary and benefits for the recruitment and training of an organizer (already identified) from North Lawndale
LCDC is poised to build the model and then the first three Canaan single-family homes in 2020-2021 on vacant lots, which they already own. Over five years, LCDC plans to build and sell a minimum of 20 single-family homes and rehab and renovate 20 two flats for homeownership.
What can we do now?
Investing in a single model Canaan Home now will catalyze the broad and deep public and private partnerships needed to scale to 1,000 new homes over the next 10 years. Trusting in the relationships forged through UPAJ with LCDC, we view this as a “pay it forward investment.” Any profits from a sale will be reinvested in the work.
With your time, treasure, and talent, we invite you to envision this future with us.
GIVE TODAY - Visit: allsaintschicago.org/greenlining
Questions? Email: Greenlining@allsaintschicago.org
What Happened with the Rummage Sale?
No rummage sale took place in 2020, either on the St. Nick’s campus or online.
Instead, we had a raffle of gift cards from local businesses on Saturday, August 1. The raffle will support the community, create energy around alternatives to our traditional rummage sale, and make up for some of the lost revenue from the cancelled sale.
Thank you to all who participated by purchasing tickets and donating to purchase the gift cards.
List of winners visit our Rummage Page