What is The Second Liturgy?
The Second Liturgy is a new podcast hosted by Ancient Faith Radio. As our first episode comes out, we thought it would be a good idea to give some background on what this is all about.
The purpose of this podcast is to get us thinking about how to love our neighbors as ourselves, specifically those with material needs, and to not just talk about it, but to get involved. We’re two guys leading a discussion, asking questions on topics related to poverty that don’t get a lot of air time.
We see the discussion about the second liturgy flowing out of the regular Sunday worship, or Divine Liturgy. The word liturgy (leitourgia in Greek) means the work of the people. In the early church, the members would bring bread and wine as an offering to the Lord. Some of it was used for Communion, and the rest was used after the service as the Christians shared the rest of the bread and wine with the hungry in their communities.
Our title comes from St. John Chrysostom’s homilies regarding the altars: the table of the Lord and the table of the poor. We’re not pitting the two liturgies against each other, but figuring out how we can, empowered by encountering Christ in the Divine Liturgy, continue on in our week meeting Christ in the hungry, thirsty, and lonely among us.
This podcast is not to brag or show off any person, parish, or organization’s generosity. There’s the verse about not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so we sometimes may be hesitant to share examples of generosity. However, Chrysostom expounds that “Christ said not simply, Do it not before men, but added, to be seen of them.” Christ also said that we should let your lights shine so men will see our good deeds and glorify our Father in Heaven. It all comes down to motivation. (see one of his homilies related to this topic at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220220.htm, last section)
What about charities? We affirm the tireless work of the many non-profit agencies that are working those living in poverty. We encourage everyone to continue giving to non-profits, and to also go beyond and get involved in more personal ways. “Give not thy alms to those who preside in the Church to distribute. Bestow it thyself, that thou mayest have the reward not of giving merely, but of kind service. Give with thine own hands.” (Chrysostom, see link above) The emphasis of this podcast will be on an Individual, church parish, and community level, not organizational. We want to stress the importance of establishing person-to-person relationships in our communities.
What about politics? There are major systemic, governmental issues that impact those who are living in poverty. There is a time and place to talk about those things and some are called to be activists. However, we are choosing not to focus on that in this podcast.
The bottom line is that we want to engage in opportunities to love. We have a lot to learn from those who can’t rely on material possessions in their lives. “The poor are our teachers,” says Fr. Roberto Ubertino. And, in the end, it’s all about loving, loving one’s neighbor as oneself, and looking for the reminders to encounter Christ in others. We can meet Christ in the Divine Liturgy, and again throughout the week with the people we interact with.
So, what do you think? We would love to hear from you. What issues related to poverty and generosity do you deal with? What resources have inspired you to be generous? Use the form at the Contact page.