51st International Eucharistic Congress (Part III)

5th Day, January 28, 2016

  • Catechesis “The Eucharist and the Dialogue with Cultures”, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila.

Cardinal Tagle emphasized the importance of the Eucharistic culture of convocation to overthrow the prevalent culture of individualism.  The culture of convocation means to gather and call with an assembly of believers.

To restore the culture of convocation we must restore family meals, among others.  “During family meals we don’t only share food; we share life and when we eat together we develop sensitivities.”  Trust, sharing and other sensitivities are developed around a table and not through seminars.”

“The call for reinstating family meals is difficult because there are many distractions that prevent people from coming together like computers, television and new gadgets, among other things.”

“The Eucharist is supposed to create a new culture, one that is welcoming and only sees the flaws and failures of others as a reminder of one’s own need for God’s mercy.”

The Eucharist is the Lord’s meal and “when the Lord hosts the meal, be prepared to be with surprising others.”

“In the meal hosted by the Lord, persons recognize a close neighbor, a fellow sinner, a sister, a brother with a place at the table.  In each one I see myself…sinful but loved, undeserving but invited, shamed but embraced, lost but trusted.”

Looking at culture in concrete, simple terms, such as seating arrangements or how parish property is organized…should help people make “individual and corporate examinations of conscience.”

“The climate of unity of peoples of different nations, tongues, cultures becoming one body in Jesus Christ, what warmth, what joy, what love.”

“The same culture of unity should be found in every parish.  Jesus created a new culture by breaking from cultural norms.”

“Do the wounded, lost, humiliated and despised find a family in our community?”

“”Do away with ‘throwaway culture’.  In the Eucharist, we propose the culture of gift.  Gifts that are given, are not to be thrown away.  The culture of communion and gift-sharing…will provide the world a reason to hope.” (Chelzee Salera, IEC web writer)

  • Catechesis to Youth. “Shun the culture of materialism”, Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, told the youth during the vigil on January 28, 2016, 8:46p, at Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City.

Title of catechesis “Christ in the Youth, Our Hope of Glory”, Christ must be the center of your life.  “If Christ is not the center…then you become split or divided.  Your mind goes this way and your body goes that way.  You’re at war with yourself.

“Money, pleasure, power and honor are altars to which people today are worshipping and dancing around.  We worship the wrong gods.”

Bishop Barron told the more than 6,000 youth to stop their “selfish-thinking” and look for the “bigger picture”.  He also encouraged them to surrender to the Holy Spirit to “find joy”. (John Gabriel M. Agcaoili)

6th Day, January 29, 2016

  • Catechesis “The Eucharist: Dialogue with the Poor and Suffering”. John Cardinal Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, Nigeria.

Three parts: (1) Christ in us, our Hope and Glory; (2) Three dimensions of the Eucharist; (3) Eucharist in dialogue with the poor and suffering.

  • Through the Eucharist and the Church Christ is present in us. (cf. Jh. 14: 23). The glory of God.  God’s eternal Kingdom – our ultimate destiny; the heavenly banquet of which we already have foretaste in the Eucharist; the will of God giving peace among us; the fulfillment of the Crucifixion and Resurrection.  Hope springs through the expectation of what is to come, the eternal banquet, which in our daily meal, Jesus is our Bread of Life, our food for our journey to the House of God.
  • Dimensions: real presence, sacrifice, communion. Real presence: “this is my body; this is my blood (Transubstantation).  Sacrifice – the Eucharist/mass is the re-enactment/re-presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary.  In both sacrifices Jesus is the victim and priest.  Sacrifices for us – remission of our sins.  Communion manna and paschal lamb are powerful symbols of “Koinonia” (Communion).  The breaking of the bread was part of the fellowship of Christians.  They become united with God in fellowship.
  • Dialogue with the poor and suffering.

Many levels of poverty, from material to spiritual.  Most important is material due mainly to injustice and greed.  The Eucharist sees the goods of the earth as gifts.  Gifts to be shared.  Spiritual poverty leads to individualism, selfishness, indifference.  Work for and with the poor.

Sufferings: physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. Jesus’ whole life is one of suffering – a redemptive one.  Christ’s body and blood were offered for the world, not only for Christians. (IEC 2016 Social Media; Fr. Joel A.)

  • Catechesis: “The Eucharist in the Church’s Dialogue with Religions”. Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, India.  Read by Archbishop D. Jala, Shillong.

Catholics consider the Eucharist as spiritual nourishment.  Food is sacred.  It is important in Hinduism, Islam and Sikhism – major Indian religions.  A symbol of communion with God, bond of spiritual fellowship and social solidarity.

Food is a major issue in India where hunger is widespread.

Denying people the right to food is a fundamental injustice.

Values of the Eucharist

  • Means of reconciliation, unity and solidarity with all
  • Sharing of divine life, promoting a culture of life
  • Living the Eucharist makes us sensitive tohuman sufferings and injustices
  • Urges us to be missionaries –make God’s Kingdom present in the world.
  • Drives us to social justice – we cannot celebrate the Eucharist without feeding the hungry.

All the Eucharistic values are bases for dialogue with other great religions traditions. (CBCP News; Fr. Joel A.)

Back to: COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop (No. 859, February 04, 2016)

About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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