On Thursday, 18th August, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers from Oregon, USA gave a talk on “Communitarian Spirituality” in our parish. Approximately 80 parishioners attended the talk.
For those of you who were unable to attend, here are some major points extracted from his talk:
- The early community of believers were devoted very much with four activities: Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of the Bread and Prayers, (Acts 2:42) and they had come to know Jesus who is their “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Jn 14:6).
- Trinitarian God is a model for an ideal human community, which reveals the divine image. The Triune God invites the human community to be united through mutual love and harmony by respecting each individual with equality and dignity.
- God who is love and who created man and woman for love has called them to love, “So that they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Matthew 19:6). Then, God blessed them and said to Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Gn 1:28). Marriage is rooted in God’s purpose at the creation. The nuptial covenant between God and His people had prepared for an everlasting covenant in the Sacrament of Matrimony which can be seen in the book of Genesis 1:28 and “the wedding-feast of the Lamb” (Rev 19: 7, 9).
- The Sacrament of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) welcomes and initiates the new members to become full members of the community of Christ. Then, each member is invited to participate and share at the Table of the Community and receive the Body and Blood of Christ. These Sacraments particularly the Sacrament of Eucharist introduces us into our relationship with Jesus and the Church then build unity on that relationship.
- The eight Beatitudes listed in Matthew 5 offers us spiritual virtues and attitudes of Christian life. All of us should take them together and fully integrate them in the life of the community as we build a united community.
- Conclusion: Living the spirituality of communion of communities orientates us to become the Church, One Body of Christ where each of us is a part of it. “The body is a unit, though it is comprised of many parts. Although its parts are many, they all form one body. So it is with Christ,” (1 Cor 12:12).
Fr. George Packiasamy.