CEBU, Philippines - Archbishop Piero Marini, Pontifical Committee president for International Eucharistic Congress, is hoping that local and foreign delegates will make as a “mission” to propagate the experiences in Cebu to their respective countries and cities.
“We hope that the richness of what we experience here can be brought back when we return to our countries, and churches,” he said.
He said IEC is an encounter of oneself and an exchange of mutual giftedness.
“We have encountered in the Philippines the richness of faith and culture” he said in Ita-lian, adding that he looks at the Christian and Filipino faith in a positive way.
“Preserve the faith which has become the source of treasures for the other churches,” he said.
Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said delegates were able to experience a “dialogue with culture” among the religious sects, women and youths.
Palma said this has showed that the Eucharist is an appreciation and celebration of God’s gift.
“I believe the experience, insights we had certainly will be a big help in our evangelization,” he said.
Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Archbishop eme-ritus of Manila, in a homily Tuesday, reminded IEC participants that the Eucharist is “not just a task, but a mission.”
He believes that the Eucharist can change the world.
He said the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s sa-ving 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,” Rosales explained.
Reverend Father Jose Quilongquilong, member of the IEC Theological Commission, summarized the activities on the fourth day of the IEC into one word – “mission.”
Most Reverend Thomas Menamparampil, retired Archbishop of Guwahati, India, said that believers must share their faith and wisdom and take the boundaries on reaching out especially to the poor, unbelievers, among others.
“In an age when believers think that fidelity to the Gospel itself is strenuous enough, it calls for extraordinary courage and profound faith to take upon oneself the task of bearing Christ’s message of hope to others,” he said.
The appointed apostolic administrator of Jowai, India was one of the speakers in the ongoing IEC. During the fourth day of the congress, Menamparampil centered on the theme, “The Eucharist as Mission, Mission as Dialogue” citing how the self-giving mission of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist continues through the Christian workers’ self-giving activity such as dialogues.
“It revives faith in unmotivated youth and reveals the face of Christ to persons who never had an encounter with him. It brings industriousness and productivity to factories, creativity and enterprise to management, sincerity and consciousness to administration. It inspires Christian legislators, civil servants and public leaders to make political decisions in behalf of weaker communities and seek the common good at national and international levels,” he said.
Menamparampil said the main purpose of the “missionary dialogue” is to respond to the “cry of the poor and the cry of Jesus Christ.”
“Let us learn to see Christ in the distressing disguise of the poor,” he said, reiterating the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, adding that dialogue can pave the way on correcting imbalances in order to build a responsible civil society. — (FREEMAN)