His Holiness, Pope Francis, celebrated the closing Mass at the International Eucharistic Congress which took place in Budapest, Hungary, from the 5th to 12th September 2021. “Eucharistic Congresses are gatherings of ecclesiastics and laymen for the purpose of celebrating and glorifying the Holy Eucharist and of seeking the best means to spread its knowledge and love throughout the world. The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist is one of the principal dogmas of the Catholic Faith and is therefore of paramount importance as the most precious treasure that Christ has left to His Church as the centre of Catholic worship and as the source of Christian piety”, says newadvent.org
Catechisis on the Eucharist was part of the activities that took place at the conference. Below it is highlighted some of what was said during homilies and catechisis about the Eucharist.
Sunday, 5th September
“You are not alone in a hostile universe, you are not alone before the marvelous mystery of life, you are not alone with your thirst for freedom and eternity. Wherever you are, you are not invisible, God looks at you with love; you are not an orphan, God is your Father; you are worth the blood of Jesus, Redeemer of the world, and Bread of eternal life. Do not be afraid: God is not dead, the Eucharist overcomes every loneliness, every distance, every indifference.” Said Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco.
Monday, 6th September
“The Catholics and the Orthodox are not united in the Eucharist, but they are united in the conviction that in the Eucharistic bread and wine after their consecration we have not just the symbolic presence of Christ, but his full and real presence,”“We believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist are the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Eucharistic celebration is not only a commemoration of the Last Supper, but also its actualization for each believer who participates in it.” said Metropolitan Hilarion of the Eastern Orthodox.
Tuesday, 7th September
It is this experience of being family every time the Eucharist is offered and celebrated that we can truly experience the peace which only God can give. If before, peace draws its source from the springs in Jerusalem, today, every time the Sacrifice is offered on every altar, peace gushes forth, for in every Eucharist we become one family of God, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Said Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu.
Wednesday, 8th September
“Look at our world and our lives. The modern man lives in a feverish pitch. He is in a tearing hurry. He is rushing all the time. He is restless. He wants to acquire more, consume more…He is not content. He abhors silence. He cannot wait. Speed, speed is the number one value today. Being slow is considered a vice, a waste of time…But Jesus waits. He came to us because he loves us…Time is not a commodity; it is a communion of hearts. Jesus waits patiently in the Eucharist,”
said Cardinal Charles Maung Bo,
Thursday, 9th September
“It is still the doctrine of the Church that anyone who knows himself or herself to be in a state of serious sin which distances him from the love of God should not move forward to receive the Holy Communion simply because everybody is going…But unfortunately, what we see is a general stream of people going for Communion at Mass, and it seems like they don’t really bother about whether they are in the right spiritual state to receive it.” said Cardinal John Onaiyekan.
Friday, 10th September
“In the desert of our lives, we are tempted to give up our faith or to reduce it to our own small scale. Our faith must be fed in our deserts. And what food would be more apt to nourish our faith than the Eucharistic food, Jesus himself at the heart of our lives?..Again, this Eucharistic food of faith is uniquely personal, yet at the same time eminently communal and ecclesial. If we did not live the ecclesial dimension of the Church, we would cut ourselves off from our roots, who is Christ, and stop on the path that leads us to Him,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich.
Saturday, 11th September
“What we experienced this evening happened because our fathers, our ancestors there in Jerusalem were together with Jesus of Nazareth…And He, on the last evening, before he was captured, condemned and crucified, ate together with His disciples. He took the bread and said, ‘Take and eat. This is My body…And the disciples sensed that something inexplicable had happened. Something greater than what we are. Something that had to be repeated again and again, for this event to be present among us, this singular unrepeatable event, radiating power.” said Cardinal Péter Erdö.
Sunday, 12th September
“Dear brothers and sisters, let us allow our encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist to transform us, just as it transformed the great and courageous saints you venerate…We do well to spend time in adoration before the Eucharist in order to contemplate God’s weakness. Let’s make time for adoration,” Said Pope Francis.
The next International Eucharistic Congress will be in Ecuador.