Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete has described the 51 st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) as an opportunity for the people, especially Catholics, to have a deeper understanding of the “great mystery of the Eucharist”.
The IEC will reel off tomorrow in Cebu, with about 15,000 delegates from all over the world expected to participate.
The Diocese of Dumaguete, led by Cortes, will be represented by about 100 priests, who are divided into three groups to attend the IEC which runs from January 24-31.
Cortes explained the IEC will give the people a chance to have a deeper relationship with the Lord, noting that there is a “tendency” that when receiving Christ in the Eucharistic celebration, many do not know the implications, such as “who are we receiving and what is it all about.”
Aside from a deeper awareness of the Eucharist, a big challenge of the IEC is “to lead us to the social dimension, the invitation to that moment when we have Christ and it gives us the responsibility to reach out to others, especially the poor,” Cortes added.
Despite the violence, wars, aggression and deep suffering of people all over the world, Cortes stressed that people should not be afraid as “the Eucharist gives us the strength and grace for us to be not afraid.”
He added the Eucharist reminds us to be like the Lord in reaching out to the poor.
Pope Francis, in this Year of Mercy, has asked the people to review the corporal and spiritual works of mercy and let them be the guide in responding to the call to attend to the people in the peripheries, Cortes stressed.*JFP
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