CEBU City, Jan. 26, 2016 – Do we keep the Eucharist to ourselves?
This was the question, and challenge, posed by Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to pilgrims at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC).
Delivering the homily for the Mass on the third day of the congress, Rosales, Archbishop emeritus of Manila, reminded IEC participants that the Eucharist is “not just a task, but a mission.”
The power of faith
Yes, the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s saving sacrifice, just like the Passover meal that commemorated the escape of the Jews from slavery under the pharaohs of Egypt. But Christ’s mandate to “Do this in memory of me” goes beyond repeating Christ’s last meal on earth, he said.
“‘Do this in memory of me’ means that as often as one eats the Body of Christ, he or she announces to others the power of the faith of our Lord Jesus,” explained the prelate.
“Do the Eucharist, live the Eucharist, release the Eucharist from sheer celebration! And allow the Body and Blood of Jesus in you to roam the streets and byways, in jeepneys, tricycles and buses, stores and cafés, offices and schools, in every dining table, in homes where families engage in dialogue,” he said.
“It could change the world.”
Sinfulness, however, should not hinder the faithful from approaching the Eucharist. “It is our sinfulness that brought us the Jesus that we know today. It is because we are sinful that we came to know Jesus,” Rosales said.
“Above all the passion and the death of Jesus redeemed humankind from sin. If the triumph of Jesus over death, the harshest face of evil, were not true, then all our confidence, all our faith in Christ is completely empty,” he added. (CBCP News / CBCP News)