"Life in the parish, the neighborhood, and the city is better because we celebrate Mass every Sunday. The ultimate evaluation of the liturgy is how well the values of the gospel are promoted in the world after the liturgy ends. If your community still suffers from homelessness, unemployment, drug or sexual abuse, or other chronic social ills, more must be done to bring the heavenly banquet from the altar to the streets.
- Preach on the social teaching of the church.
- Create awareness campaigns on particularly difficult issues surrounding the parish.
- Practice seeing Jesus in everyone. Start with those who you worship with but do not know. Gradually move toward recognizing Christ in those most different, most frightening, most repulsive to us."
The Apostle Paul says that it is “unworthy” of a Christian community to partake of the Lord’s Supper amid division and indifference towards the poor (1 Cor 11:17-22, 27-34). Our Catechism (1397) tells us: “To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren”. John Paul II wrote in 2004 that "the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations is judged will be our mutual love and in particular our concern for those in need" (Mane Nobiscum, Domine).So, thanks, Nick, for including this wonderful insight for us all to consider. And for those of us who are deacons, this can be a particularly appropriate opportunity and challenge since deacons can -- and should -- take the lead in making this connection clear to all.