During the closing Mass for the 10th National Eucharistic Congress, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, invited the faithful to spread the message of Jesus in order to build “a more just and fraternal world.”
“An authentically Eucharistic Church is a missionary Church,” he said.
“The Eucharist, which makes the sacrifice of Jesus for the entire world present today, makes each of us also into ‘broken bread’ for the service of all and leads us to build a more just and fraternal world,” the cardinal explained in his homily at the Cathedral of Toledo, Spain. “It invites us to be committed with our brothers and sisters to confronting the present-day challenges and make the Earth a place where we live properly as brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“Pope Benedict XVI has also reminded us that we must not keep for ourselves the love we celebrate in the sacrament,” said Cardinal Sodano. “By its nature it demands that we communicate it to all.”
The Eucharist, he added, should be looked upon as “an epiphany of the love of God,” which we “contemplate and adore, thanking the Lord for this continual presence among us.”
“This is the message that the Holy Father Benedict XVI sends to you through me,” he said.
“The presence of God among us occurs in various ways, but it is in the Eucharist where it finds its highest form,” the cardinal said. “And we hold Eucharistic Congresses in our ecclesial communities at the national and international levels to celebrate this divine presence, like we are doing today in Toledo, at the heart of this historic Christian community of Spain.”
He noted that the patron of Eucharistic Congress is the Spanish saint, St. Paschal Bailon, “a man of profound Eucharistic devotion which characterized his entire spirituality.”
“The testimony of faith in the Eucharist by this saint from Spain has always remained alive in the Church up to our own day,” Cardinal Sodano said.
“The Lord has desired to remain with us as the bread of life,” he continued. “He who is nourished by Christ in the Eucharist does not have to wait for the afterlife in order to receive eternal life, he possesses it on earth as the first fruits of the future fullness.”
“In fact, in the Eucharist we also receive the guarantee of the bodily resurrection at the end of the world,” the cardinal said.
He concluded by encouraging the faithful to seek the intercession of the Mother of God. “Help us, Mary, to sanctify our lives and help us in our mission to proclaim to all men of good will the Gospel of hope, trusting in the continual presence of the Lord in the heart of the world and confident in the perennial validity of his promise.”