Please find below Agape’ meditation supplement for the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church for this coming Sunday, June 22, 2014, the feast of Corpus Christi.
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service
Jesus said to the Jewish crowds: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
John 6: 51-58
Dt 8: 2-3, 14b-16a
Ps 147: 12-13, 14-15, 19-20
1 Cor 10: 16-17
By the time the Gospel of John was written in around 95 – 100 C.E., the practice of breaking bread and sharing wine was already well established within the worship practices of the early Christian communities. In fact, these practices were so well established that the author of John did not even mention them in his/her retelling of the Last Supper (John Chapters 13 – 17). Instead, the author took this as an opportunity to provide a thorough meditative exploration of the meaning and purpose of the Eucharist. When Christians receive the bread and wine in the ritual of the Eucharist, we are participating in the very life of Christ. In other words, when we receive the Eucharist, we are agreeing to follow Jesus’ example, taking his teachings to heart and applying them in our lives and we are agreeing to continue his work in the world through the power of God’s grace. In taking in the Eucharist, we are taking in Christ and allowing him to live in and through us – becoming co-creators with him in bringing forth the fullness of love (the kingdom of God) in our world.
Where have you found meaning in the Eucharist?
If you are not participating in the public celebration of Eucharist, how are you “taking in Christ” so that he might live in and through you?
Spiritual Practices – Divine Reading
Set aside 20-30 minutes to enter into this meditation practice. You will be applying Lectio-Divina (divine reading) to your spiritual practice in the following way:
- Slowly and meditatively read the scripture above. As you are reading, look for a word or phrase that jumps out at you. Receive this word/phrase as God’s nourishment for you today.
- Meditate and reflect on that word or phrase. What might God be saying to you through these words? How might they apply to something currently going on in your life?
- Write your thoughts and reflections on that word or phrase in your journal or a notebook. Offer a response to God about what you have received.
- Sit in silence and allow this meditation to take root within you.
In Authentic Freedom, we draw a connection between the seven sacred truths and the seven sacraments of the Catholic/Episcopal traditions. The Eucharist reminds us that in God, we have the fulfillment of all of our needs and that through God, all our needs are met in abundance. Or as Etienne Carpentier reminds us in his book, How to Read the New Testament (Crossroad Publishing, 1992):
“Whatever people ask him, Jesus had one answer, The Father (God). Where have you come from? God. Where are you going? God. What are you doing? The work of God, God’s will. What are you saying? Nothing of my own, but what I learned from God. (p. 100)”
It was in his strict adherence to God that Jesus found the truth of abundance, and it is to this same path that Jesus invites us.
How are you being invited to understand, like Jesus, that God is all there is – that you come from God, are returning to God?
How are you being invited, like Jesus, to look to God for guidance and direction and to follow only God’s will?
How are you being invited to do God’s work in the world?