Thoughts from the Second Floor Front
III Sunday in Ordinary Time
January 26, 2020
I Corinthians Part II
At the Sunday Liturgy last week we began hearing from St. Paul’s first letter to the Church of Corinth. St. Paul founded the church in that licentious port city in the ancient Roman Empire on his second missionary journey. The letter is one of the best sources of information about the early church and people in the community who, having accepted the faith, now are making great efforts to live it. In this letter it seems at times that Paul is offering answers to questions posed to him or addressing problems that have become known to him. Specifically, the questions and issues he addresses deal with four topics: factions in the community, a case of sexual immorality, a theological question about the teaching concerning the resurrection of the dead and finally, a problem with the manner in which the Corinthians were celebrating the Eucharist. Last week I addressed the first three issues; with this effort I will take up the fourth – the problem the Corinthians are having with manner in which they celebrate Eucharist. (I Cor 11:17-34).
The problem with their celebrations is the main problem that afflict many if not all theological errors – excess. Evidently there were two meals that comprised the celebration of the Agape – the love meal. We would call it a potluck supper. People would bring to the house church, for there were no buildings as such then, whatever they could contribute towards everyone’s dinner. The problem came about when some, engaging in excess, ate so much there was not enough for everyone, or even worse they drank so much that some were getting drunk: When you meet in one place, then, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for in eating, each one goes ahead with his own supper, and one goes hungry while another gets drunk. (11:20-21)
After castigating them for their behavior of excess, lack of hospitality and selfishness, Paul launches into an instruction on the Eucharist. He reminds the people of Corinth what he received from the Lord and what it was he taught them. Then Paul repeats the words Jesus used at the Last Supper, the words we use today in celebrating the Eucharist.
For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Paul is quoting the Institution Narrative – the words Jesus used at the Last Supper.
What is most interesting is that Paul was not present at the Last Supper.
What does this mean? Paul did not hear the words of Jesus from Jesus on that grace filled evening, the night before He died and the night He gave us the Eucharist. Paul did not hear the words from Jesus but he knows of them less than two decades after the event. He is offering a corrective to the Corinthians because they are doing it wrong. There must, therefore, have been a correct way to celebrate the Eucharist which had been clearly established by this time. The point is the Eucharist and its proper celebration. Within less than twenty years after the Christ event the church had firmly established and fully recognized the greatest gift Jesus has to offer which is Himself in the Eucharist.
Paul finishes his presentation on the Eucharist by admonishing the Corinthians to realize what it is they celebrate and who it is they receive. Do you? I have a theory that the casual manner in which people dress for the liturgy is an indication of their approach to receiving the Eucharist. I remember reading about Mohandas Gandhi in his reference to the Eucharist in which Gandhi said something like this: If I believed what Catholics believe about the Eucharist, nothing could tear me away from holding onto the tabernacle. Ours is a mystical religion and the presence of Christ in the Eucharist and within us is an element of that mystical experience. Share that good news with those who make \up your life this week. Share it in word and work.
Adults desiring the Sacraments of Initiation should begin the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Whether you are seeking Confirmation or require all of the Sacraments of Initiation, contact the Parish Life Center office for more information.
Sessions will be on Tuesdays from 7pm to 815pm every week until Easter.
Children prepare for their First Penance, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation through instruction at St. Cornelius School or the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP).
First Penance and First Holy Communion usually take place during 2nd grade.
Confirmation now takes place during the spring of 7th grade.
Catholic Relief Services has been in existence for over 75 years. In 2018, CRS celebrated its 75th anniversary. Born out of the refugee crisis following World War II, today the CRS staff, partners, supporters and beneficiaries serve in more than 100 countries around the world, responding to disaster, strengthen- ing communities and so much more.
Recently, along with a number of parishioners, I met with the leadership of CRS in the Mid- Atlantic Region to begin to explore the possibility of forming a CRS Chapter in our parish to make the work of CRS an integral part of St. Cornelius.
I am going to contact pastors of neighboring parishes to see if they are interested in joining us. This CRS ministry may not be the answer to conversion of faith for the entire parish, but it could be the opportunity many are looking for in order to articulate and live their faith.
The focus at this time is multi-dimensional:
? Education. To raise awareness of what CRS does.
? Advocacy. Communicate with our government agencies to advocate for and help maintain 1% of the federal budget to overseas support. This involves communicating with Congress and other elected officials.
? Community fundraising efforts. The chapter will be a conduit for CRS fundraising efforts, education and communications to let people know what happens with the donations.
? CRS will supply an ongoing level of support via monthly national conference calls. From this we may receive specific assignments for our chapter.
This effort on behalf of CRS is still very new and will continue to grow and develop over time.
I introduce this topic today as a way of asking you to give prayerful consideration to participate in this unique opportunity to live your discipleship and work to bring the goodness of the Kingdom of God to those most in need.
I invite you to explore this opportunity further by coming to a meeting in the Fr. Simon Room in the PLC on Thursday, January 30th at 7:00PM.
JANUARY 30, 2020
At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed "not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service." For strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and his group of priests they serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity to the people of God. (Lumen Gentium, 29).
The diaconate has its origins in apostolic times and flourished during the first four centuries of the Church’s history. Later, for very complex reasons, the diaconate went into decline until it became little more than a step on the way to the priesthood in the Western Church.
When the Second Vatican Council restored the diaconate as a permanent ministry in the Church, it did so for three primary reasons:
• first, a desire to restore to the Church the full complement of active apostolic ministries,
• second, the desire to integrate and strengthen those who were, in fact, already exercising diaconal functions
• third, to more fully serve the needs of the people.
WHAT THE DEACON DOES
A permanent deacon exercising diaconal ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and in good standing:
Minister of the Word
• Proclaim the Gospel
• May preach everywhere in virtue of Canon 764, unless it has been restricted or taken away by the competent ordinary. This faculty is to be exercised with at least the presumed consent of the pastor of the parish. [Preaching to religious in their churches or oratories requires the permission of the competent superior (Canon 765)]
• Teach the Catholic faith
• Evangelize believers and non-believers
Minister of the Altar
• Assists bishops and priests at the Liturgy
• Ordinary minister of the Eucharist
• Bring Holy Communion to the sick.
• Be the minister of exposition and benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament
• Administer the sacrament of baptism
• Officiate at marriages outside of Mass with delegation from the pastor of the parish where the marriage is to be celebrated
• Preside at wake services and the rites of burial
• Impart those blessings which are expressly permitted to him by law (Cf. Book of Blessings)
• Preside over devotional services
Minister of Charity
• Perform charitable, administrative and social welfare duties
• Visit the sick and feed the hungry and minister to the dying and the bereaved
The St. Cornelius Literary Society is a group of Parishioners interested in deepening their faith through reading.
All are welcome to join this group. The next meeting will be Sunday, February 9 at 3:00 in the Parish Life Center. To prepare, read the following short stories by Flannery O'Connor:
'A Good Man is Hard to Find"
"The Enduring Chill"
"The Displaced Person"
Msgr. Diamond instructs a weekly Bible Study Thursday mornings from 10:00-11:30 in the Parish Life Center. All women and men are welcome to attend. Just bring your Bible!
The goal of this Scripture study is to broaden our knowledge of Scripture and our church's teaching regarding the Scriptures, and it will enhance our understanding and personal faith life.
At the 9:00 am Sunday Mass, children ages 3-8 who have not yet had their First Holy Communion are invited to the side Chapel during the Liturgy of the Word to learn about the Gospel on their own level of understanding.
Bring your little ones to meet the volunteers in the Chapel before Mass!
The Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) helps parents teach the Catholic faith to their children. The program enrolls children in grades 1-8 who attend a non-Catholic school. Registered members of St. Cornelius parish may enroll their children in PREP and choose Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, or a Summer program for the 2019-2020 school year.
We also support homeschooling during non-sacrament years.
Information and registration materials for the 2020-2021 school year will be available in late January.
First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion usually take place during 2nd grade.
Confirmation takes place in the spring of 7th grade.