Emmanuel Magazine Archives
January and February are months where we often find ourselves contemplating the passage of time. We look forward with hope as a new calendar year begins, and we also recall the nature of passing things with the approach of the Lenten season. The theme of time, so beautifully portrayed in Nicora Gangi’s cover painting entitled, “The Time is Soon,” unifies many of our articles in this issue. John Thomas Lane, SSS begins a series in our Pastoral Liturgy column exploring the deeper meaning of the Liturgy of the Hours. John Zupez, SJ ponders eternity and the fruits of our work in time. While Michael DeSanctis explores how a young, un-churched generation encounters historic sacred spaces. These in addition to Dennis Billy CSsR’s examination of Flannery O’Connor’s eucharistic theology and Lisa Marie Betz’s thoughtful scripture reflections mark the unfolding of the liturgical year.
Pain, suffering, the struggle to forgive; these are all to frequently part of life’s journey. In this Lenten issue of Emmanuel there are a number of profound reflections upon these life experiences from a Eucharistic perspective. James Menkhaus offers a meaningful reflection upon the transformative potential of the scars we carry. Victor Parachin shares varied methods of forgiveness. Stephen Bevans and Dennis Ruane help us to pray, whether in the humdrum of daily life or the depths of pain. These coupled with Paul Bernier’s reflections on the Word of God make for enriching material to help us through the challenges of our Lenten journey and lead us to new life in Christ.
In this issue care of creation is explored through a eucharistic lens. Liturgist Gil Ostdiek, OFM opens up the ecological dimensions of the presentation of the gifts in his article Care of Creation: A Eucharistic Call to Action. Scripture scholar Dianne Bergant, CSA offers a reflection upon the meaning and consequences of the biblical notion of humanity made in the “image of God.” John Christman, SSS presents a unique Orthodox vision of care of creation. Michael DeSanctis reflects upon the role of creation in shaping Catholic sacred spaces. Julie Tragon offers a practical guide for living out the vision of Laudato Si’ in a parish setting. While Martha Ligas and James Menkhaus offer a beautiful reflection upon eucharistic contemplation derived from nature and poetry.
“Breaking bread on the journey” is the theme of this issue of Emmanuel. This theme touches upon the complex interrelated realities of migration, Eucharist and justice. Robert Stark, SSS sets the tone with his article of stories of encounter along the US-Mexico border. Theologian Carmen Nanko-Fernández offers a thoughtful inquiry into some of our theological assumptions in her article, The Unity That Only Eucharist Can Achieve? Scripture scholar George Smiga provides a homily on the Holy Family as refugees. As August 2nd is the feast of Saint Peter Julian Eymard his eucharistic spirituality is featured in an article by Darren Maslen, SSS entitled, Triangularity: The Shape of Eucharistic Hospitality. Indeed, Saint Peter Julian Eymard’s eucharistic spirituality informs the mission of Emmanuel, “to see all reality in the light of the Eucharist.”
While going without Eucharist is a tremendous struggle for all Catholics, it likely struck the readers of Emmanuel in a unique way. Readers of Emmanuel are imbued with a eucharistic spirituality and seek, as our mission states, “to see all of reality in the light of the Eucharist.” Therefore this “eucharistic fast” requires of us a deeper theological engagement. In this issue we grapple with some of the challenging facets of this eucharistic fast: ecclesial, liturgical, ministerial and spiritual. What is impressive, amidst the difficulties faced by so many of the contributors to this issue, was their choice to be Eucharist for others, to serve as Jesus served.
Family and relationships often occupy our time and thoughts in Advent and Christmas. In this issue George and Anna Peko offer a reflection upon the Eucharist and marriage drawn from their years of marriage and ministry together. Also important is our relationship with the world around us. Peter Schineller, SJ offers a reflection upon differing ways we can encounter God. As Christmas is a season so often associated with consumerist excess, Erin Lothes Biviano’s article Fossil Fuel Divestment: A Sacramental Act of Love of Neighbor is a welcome presentation of concrete ways we can better live in harmony with creation. Sister Lisa Marie Belz, OSU guides us through the Advent and Christmas readings with thought provoking and often uplifting insights into the scriptures. These plus a number of attentive examinations of the liturgy fill out this issue of Emmanuel.