Java with Jesus
Daily Reflections for Practicing Our Faith
This book was given birth one morning when Marianne Sailus, the author, was on a silent retreat in Wernersville, PA. As she sipped her morning coffee, she decided to use that time to reflect on some of the issues that she was addressing during the course of that retreat.
When she reached the bottom of the cup, she left the dining hall and went across the hallway into the chapel. That is where the first of these meditations was born. She went to the retreat center chapel, opened her Bible, and contemplated on what she was experiencing. Then she wrote down some notes which became the first of the meditations contained in the book.
Over the upcoming months, common experiences from daily life led the author to reflect on how God works in our lives. These experiences included everything from two automobile accidents that occurred forty days apart that opened her eyes to the meaning of God's mercy; to experiences with patients and family members as they confronted illness, disability, and even death; to historical events, such as the Amish school shooting, which illustrate the healing power of forgiveness.
This book follows the course of the seasons - both of the calendar year as well as the liturgical year and contains 366 meditations - one for each day, plus one for February 29th, should the reader use it during leap year. Each day begins with three suggested Scriptures - one either from the Old Testament or from the New Testament epistles, Acts of the Apostles, or the Book of Revelation; a Psalm or part of a Psalm, and a Gospel reading. These are followed by the actual meditation, which reflects back on the Scriptures. Finally, each day ends with a prayer to sum up the entire reflection.
Jack Figel, Publisher of Eastern Christian Publications of Fairfax, Virginia, has added full-page color icons for each month as yet another source of meditation.
Java with Jesus is now in its second edition, and features an Index for easier reference.
This book is available from our website by clicking the ADD TO CART button above, or from Eastern Christian Publications at its website: http://www.ecpubs.com. The cost is $30.00. A digital version is also available for iOS or Adobe Reader.
The Broken Body of Christ
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:23-27
When I was a graduate student at Villanova University in the 1980's, I had the opportunity to participate in Liturgy in a most unusual setting.
On Sunday mornings, an Augustinian priest would come to my apartment and get me to accompany him to a state hospital for persons who had various forms of mental illness. There he would offer Mass, and I would provide the music ministry.
One of those Sunday mornings I had a transforming event that never allowed me to experience Eucharist in the same way ever since. The piano I played was elevated on a stage, while the priest and the patients were on the main floor, beneath the stage, where an altar was set for Eucharist.
That particular Sunday, I looked down to see the priest raising the bread to be consecrated. He spoke the words of Jesus that Saint Paul recounts in today's first reading: "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." From my "perch" on the stage, I did not see the Host. Rather, I saw a group of hurting people, gathered together in the Name of the Lord to be nourished by His Word and His Body and Blood. Then a light went on in my soul that has never been extinguished: "These - the broken People of God gathered together in His Name - aha! This IS His Body!"
We are the Body of Christ - His living, breathing Body that makes His Presence known in a hurting world. We are nourished by His sacred Gifts of Self so that we might become gift to others in His Name. But do we take this commissioning seriously?
For some, Eucharist becomes a less than pious filing through a line to get something at the other end. Thoughts and eyes are not on God, but on other things. That is when Eucharist ceases to be transforming, but becomes merely habitual.
Dear Lord, help us to realize that we are truly Your Body in the world. May each Eucharist transform us and make You present in all of our dealings with others, and in the inner recesses of our hearts. May we celebrate being Your Body. Amen.