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LC Family: Living the Eucharist, Becoming Channels of God’s Mercy

 

LC Festivities logo projecvt 2016 final2 copyThe theme for this year’s 88th Foundation Anniversary of Lourdes College, “LC Family: Living the Eucharist, Becoming Channels of God’s Mercy”, is very timely, as it coincides with two important celebrations in the Church’s calendar – the 51st International Eucharistic Congress and the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

In order for us to fully understand the significance behind the theme, let me talk about these two events in detail.

It was apropos that Cebu, the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines, played host to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress on January 24-31 of this year. This week-long gathering centered around the theme “Christ in You, Our Hope of Glory,” welcomed thousands of pilgrims from all four corners of the globe for a series of conferences on the Holy Eucharist and its relation to society as a whole.

One of the most memorable quotes by Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Papal Legate (representative of Pope Francis), during the opening Mass was that “when you approach the altar, the Eucharist strips you off all your social status. You are just an equal among equal. In an unequal and uncaring world, the Eucharist steadfastly remains the beacon of human equality.

The parable of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes closely relates to the Eucharist, as the disciples offered all that they have to Jesus. In the same way, every time we attend Mass, we offer all that we have, including our sins. Our earthly offerings are then transformed into the True and Living Presence of Jesus Christ.

Indeed, we are renewed into a new life in Christ every time we receive Him in the Eucharist.

However, the Eucharist is not just the Real Presence of Jesus on the altar every time we go to Mass, or when we adore Hum in front of Blessed Sacrament, but also when we go out to our neighborhood and communities, proclaiming the Good news.

We are aware of the huge disparity in the Philippines today between rich and poor. This is particularly evident when we see lavish-looking malls and high-rise buildings constructed near to impoverished areas. These upcoming elections, however, are an opportune time for careful discernment in choosing the right leaders for our country.

It is in this light that Pope Francis decreed the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, beginning from December 8, 2015 until November 20, 2016, with the motto, “Merciful Like the Father”.

God’s mercy is infinite just like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Merciful Father – our Merciful Father – is waiting with open arms for that day when we return to Him. As mentioned by the apostle Luke. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

How can we say “no” to this abundance of God’s mercy and forgiveness?

In this Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Holy Father exhorts us to, not just study and reflect, but rather applu the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy in our daily lives. “Faith by itself, of it does not have works, is dead,” quoting the words of St. James.

Let us shed our old selves and become a light of hope against the darkness of modern society, against the culture of death and indifference. This includes feeding the countless number of hungry, sheltering those who are homeless, comforting people who have no one else to turn to, and praying for the living and the dead.

By performing these Works of Mercy constantly, we will see the Face of God in each one of our brothers and sisters. “Do you wish to honor the Body of Christ? Do not ignore Him when He is naked,” according to St. John Chrysostom.

As One Body – as One LC family – it is time for all of us to “Turn away from sin and faithful to the Gospel”, to return to our Merciful Father, “in order to return to ourselves,” as stated by Pope Francis.

To end this, I’ll leave this quote by Pope Francis’ namesake, St. Francis of Asisi, “Brothers, while we have time, let is do good.” As pilgrims on this journey to our Father, let us do good to our brothers and sisters in Christ. (Gabriel Komarnicki – Blue Sash Editor-in-Chief)

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