Dates and venue: January 24-31, 2016, Cebu City.
- Theme: “Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory.”
Theme “emphasizes the Eucharist as source and goal of the Church’s mission.” It is taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Colossians (1: 24-29). It is “meant to bring to fuller light the bond among the Eucharist, Mission, and Christian Hope, both in time and eternity.” (IEC Program Guide, p. 16)
In the Eucharist we encounter Christ through his Word and self-sacrifice. Having encountered Christ we are sent (mission) to bring Christ to others. Christ is the world’s hope – for acceptance, forgiveness, healing, love and wholeness we received and experienced – that we may have life and have it to the full (cf. Jh. 10: 10).
2. Opening Mass, 24 January, Plaza Independencia. Presider and homilist: Charles Maung Cardinal Bo, Salesian, Archbishop of Yangon (formerly Rangoon), Myanmar(Burma), 66 years old.
Homily: “Eucharist calls for World War III vs. poverty, cruelty.”
He emphasized the social dimension of the Eucharist.
Bo described widespread malnutrition and starvation in the world as “mass genocide” and the Eucharist if lived out by the faithful could help uplift the poor.
“This calls for a commitment to a world of justice. The Eucharist calls for a third world war…against poverty…against a world that produces more weapons while more than half a billion don’t have enough food.”
The Eucharist and poverty are inseparable. “The Eucharist is a beacon of human dignity for the poor. No other religion elevates the poor to this level.” (Felipe Francisco, CBCP Monitor, Special Issue, Jan. 25, 2016, p. A1).
Other quotes from Cardinal Bo (Ibidem, p. 8)
“To others the presence of Filipinos means evangelization. Every migrant Filipino, migrant worker is a Paul of Tarsus.”
“Being a devotee is one of the easiest things. It is good but not enough. Christ calls us to be disciples. The Mass of the devotee ends in an hour. The Mass of the disciples is unending.”
“Do you wish to honor the body of Christ? Do not ignore Him when he is naked.”
“Eucharist is the bread of justice for the poor.”
“The Eucharist is the hidden power for unity.”
“Eucharist is a dream and a reality. Real because it is truly present. A dream because it is the hope of the future.”
3. January 25th (2nd day). Venue IEC Pavilion. Presider and homilist: Archbishop Piero Marini, President, Pontifical Committee on International Eucharistic Congress.
Conversion of St. Paul (Feast). “We need to be like St. Paul and convert our lives, directing it to witness to God’s love and presence.”
St. Paul is the apostle to the gentiles. Mission of Catholics is “to live a life of faith.”
St. Paul turned his life of sin to a life of Christ by discovering the real person of Christ. He spent time getting to know Christ by studying the Scriptures which soon led him to a life of mission.
Archbishop Marini said “the life of the apostle encourages the faithful to a life channeling Christ into the world, a life fully responsive to the love and sacrifice of Jesus, a life of full surrender to God’s will.” (Chrixy Paguirigan/CBCP News, CBCP Monitor, January 26, 2016, p. A1).
4. Catechesis, 2nd “Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory”: A Pastoral Reflection by Archbishop Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, OFM, Archdiocese of Trujillo, Peru.
“The Gospel is for the whole world\, it is for all cultures, respecting each one’s idiosyncrasy. The end goal is salvific – to make everyone perfect in Christ.”
“Let us pray, because the lungs of evangelization is prayer.”
“The universality of the Church through the people’s evangelization finds growth and strength in the Eucharist.” (Teresa Tunay, CBCP Monitor, p. A7).
5. Testimony, 2nd By Joseph Cardinal Zen, SDB. Cardinal Bishop Emeritus of Hongkong. His testimony on “Defense of human rights, political freedom, and religious liberty in the face of criticism from China’scommunal government.
“Cardinal Zen stressed the necessity to pray for the perseverance of ministries in African countries and in China as well. He ended his speech within a tone of hope, saying that we believe in the communion of saints, in the power of our prayers, especially in our adoration of the Eucharist, and that after the cross is the resurrection; after tribulations, joy.” (Teresa Tunay, op.cit).
6. Concurrent sessions, 2nd
a. “The Christian Virtue of Hope.” Timothy Radcliffe, OP. Director of the Las Casas Institute, Oxford, Consultant Pontifical Council Justice and Peace.
“It is in the darkest that God comes to us in ways that we never have anticipated. So do not be afraid of crisis.
“Our hope is the God who remains with us. And so our hope is in remaining, abiding, not running away. To remain is a sign of trust in the Lord who remains in us. The first way we express hope is in remaining.”
“The second way…is in the celebration of the Eucharist.”
“The third way…is by doing good deeds for their own sake.”
“The fourth way…is by teaching, thinking, trying to understand. Teaching the young is one of the greatest signs of hope. Thinking especially in the middle of crises expresses our hope that in the end everything will make sense.” )Teresa Tunay, op.cit).
b. “The Word of God…and the Eucharist: Christian Hope in a Secularizing World.” Francis Maloney, SDB, Professor, Australian Catholic University. “Being human is essentially a journey towards divinity…deification” (op.cit, p. A2).