Pope’s message: Teach what you learned
(The Freeman) - February 1, 2016 - 3:29am

CEBU, Philippines – “May this Eucharistic congress enable you as missionary disciples to bring this great experience of ecclesial communion and missionary outreach to your families, your parishes and communities and your local churches,” said Pope Francis whose face was shown on a giant LED screen.

Even without seeing the Pope personally, everybody who attended the Statio Orbis or the final Mass of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress yesterday still felt his presence as he gave his message to everyone in a recorded video.

His message centered on living out what the delegates learned during the Eucharistic Congress and sharing it back to where they come from. He said Christ’s presence among everyone is not only a consolation but also a “promise and a summons”.

“It is a promise that everlasting joy and peace will one day be ours in the fullness of his kingdom. But it is also a summons to go forth as missionaries, to bring the message of the father’s tenderness, forgiveness and mercy to every man, woman and child,” he said.

Pope Francis said it is in the thoughts of conflicts, injustice and the urgent humanitarian crisis that one will realize how important it is for every Christian to be a true missionary disciple bringing the good news of Christ’s redemptive love to a world such in need of reconciliation, justice and peace.

“We are called to bring the balm of God’s merciful love to the whole human family, binding up wounds, bringing hope where despair so often seems to have the upper hand,” he said.

Before Pope Francis’ message surprised mass attendees at the closing mass, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma bid his last words to the participating delegates.

He wished for everyone that the weeklong experience may have transformed them into Christ-like individuals offering their selves “in the Eucharistic communion, the Christian individual and community cannot remain indifferent to the call to share and gift oneself to become bread for the life of the world.”

“But now, it is time to say goodbye. Adios. After this mass our airports and seaports will be busy for you have to go,” Palma said on his 12-minute long message.

The 65-year-old archbishop extended the words said every after Mass, “go forth, the Mass has ended” but was quick to reiterate a message once pointed out that “the Mass of the disciple is unending.”

“As one community of disciples, we move today from communion to mission, from having been gifted to being gifts,” he said.

“I hope that above all, what you’ve experienced these past days have warmed your hearts since you have seen the Lord in the face of your fellow delegates, in the face of every person you meet, and in the face of the poor you encountered,” he added.

Thousands of delegates, both from the clergy and laity, from 73 countries gathered for the international religious gathering, which is the second time for the country to host. The entire event covered the three-day theological symposium followed with a week of catechesis and religious activities.

Beyond his words of appreciation, Palma was also apologetic especially to those experiencing the inconveniences during the hosting of the event.

“To all who are affected by traffic congestion and road closures, we say sorry and we thank you for your understanding,” he said. — Ma. Fatima R. Secuya, May Miasco/BRP (FREEMAN)

ACIRC BEFORE POPE FRANCIS CEBU ARCHBISHOP JOSE PALMA EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS FATIMA R INTERNATIONAL EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS MASS MAY MIASCO MESSAGE POPE FRANCIS STATIO ORBIS
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