OBANDO, Bulacan, Dec. 14 2015 – With the Advent season halfway done, a priest in Bulacan calls the faithful to put the Eucharist in the spotlight for this season.
“Advent is a season to reflect on Christ in the Eucharist, as he dwells with us every Mass,” said Fr. Cristopher Rivera, parochial vicar of San Pascual Baylon Parish in Obando, Bulacan during the parish’s advent recollection on Friday.
Jesus’ ‘third coming’
Inspired by the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Rivera gave importance to Jesus’ “third coming”,or His coming during every celebration of the Eucharist.
“Jesus came to us in physical form during the first Christmas, and will do so again in the Second coming, but in between these two, is His third coming in the form of the bread and wine during Mass,” said Rivera. “Let us remember that with this coming of Jesus, He interacts directly with us.”
The priest emphasized that this third coming of Jesus happens not in great glory like the other two, but inside of each person that results in a “deep relationship with God.”
Rivera underlined how many of the faithful neglect Advent as a season of preparation for the Christmas because of the “distractions all around.”
“Before December, and even when September begins, we are all bombarded with Christmas sales in malls and commercials in the television given a touch of Christmas, and it is not even the Christmas season yet,” he said. “With this culture in the Philippines, Advent season is very much forgotten.”
“It is important that we fast this season and give way [to] attending the Mass,” he added. “This shall create a longing for Christ… In this way, we prepare ourselves for a big feast that is truly the core of the celebration.”
Year of the Eucharist
Rivera mentioned that beginning the liturgical year celebrating Christ in the Eucharist is fitting, for 2016 is the Year of the Eucharist and the Family for the local Church in the Philippines.
He also mentioned’s Cebu City hosting o the 51st International Eucharist Congress in January, which also highlights the Eucharist.
“If we begin the [liturgical] year this way, then its message will linger throughout the Year,” he said. (Luke Godoy / CBCPNews)