“Jesus, Only Savior of the World, Bread of New Life”
(Theme of the 47th International Eucharistic Congress in Rome, June 2000)
“We wish to stay with Christ and for this reason, like Peter, we say to Him: 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.' Today, with the same conviction as Peter, we kneel before the Sacrament of the altar and renew our profession of faith in the real presence of Christ.”(Pope John Paul II, June 22, Mass)
Highlights from Our Holy Father’s Words at the Congress
June 18, Angelus Message:
“We have arrived at the heart of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. During these days we will live some culminating moments with the Liturgy. The profound meaning of the Jubilee event is revealed in them. Indeed, in the span of a week we celebrate two solemnities: Trinity Sunday and the Body and Blood of the Lord, in which the character of this Holy Year is fully manifested, at once Trinitarian and Eucharistic.
“Prepared by three years of reflections on Christ, the Spirit and the Father, the Jubilee's purpose is to give thanks and praise to the divine Trinity from whom everything comes and to whom everything tends, in the world and history (Cf. Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 55).
“But ‘the way,’ and ‘the door’ of access to the mystery of the Love of God is only one: Jesus, who was born, died, and rose to give life to every man and woman. Before dying on the cross, the victim for the expiation of our sins, He left the Church the memorial of his redemptive sacrifice: the sacrament of the Eucharist. Because of this, 2000 cannot be other than an ‘intensely Eucharistic’ year (ibid.) ...”
June 21, General Audience:
“The Congress locates the Eucharist at the center
of the great Jubilee of the Incarnation and draws attention to all its
spiritual, ecclesial and missionary profundity. It is from the Eucharist
that the Church and every believer draw the indispensable strength to proclaim
and witness to all people the Gospel of salvation. The celebration of the
Eucharist, sacrament of the Lord's Pascal Mystery, is in itself a missionary
event, which plants the fruitful seed of new life in the world.
“This missionary aspect of the Eucharist is explicitly recalled by St. Paul in his Letter to the Corinthians: ‘For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes’(1 Cor 11:26).
“The Church echoes these words of St. Paul in the doxology after the consecration. The Eucharist is a ‘missionary’ sacrament not only because it is the origin of the grace of the missions, but also because it contains within itself the principle and the perennial source of salvation for all people.
“Therefore the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the most effective missionary act that the ecclesial community can perform in world history. Every Mass concludes with the missionary mandate to ‘go’, inviting the faithful to bring the proclamation of the Risen Lord to their families, their work environments, their societies, and to the entire world. This is why in the letter‘Dies Domini’ I invited the faithful to imitate the example of the disciples of Emmaus who, after having recognized the Risen Christ ‘in the breaking of the bread’ (cf Lk 24:30-32), feel the need to go immediately to share with all the brethren the joy of their meeting with Him (cf n. 45). The‘broken bread’ opens the life of the Christian and of the entire community to the sharing and giving of self for the life of the world (cf Jn 6:51). It is precisely in the Eucharist that we realize the inseparable connection between communion and mission, that makes the Church the sacrament of unity for all human beings (cf “Lumen Gentium”, 1).
“May the International Eucharistic Congress, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Christ Sacrificed for us, revive in believers the consciousness of the missionary responsibility that springs from participation in the Eucharist. The‘body given’ and the ‘blood poured’ (cf Lk 22:19-20) make up the superior criteria to which we must always refer in giving ourselves for the salvation of the world.”
June 22, Mass preceding the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament:
"We will escort the Eucharistic sacrament with
humble pride through the streets of the city, passing by the buildings
where people reside, rejoice, and suffer; through stores and offices where
daily life unfolds. We will put Him in touch with our life, threatened
by a thousand dangers, oppressed by worries and sorrows, subjected to the
slow but inexorable passage of time."
June 25, Closing of the Congress:
"... In fact, in the Eucharistic mystery the Risen One has willed to continue to live in our midst, so that every human being may know his real name, his real face, and experience his infinite mercy."
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