“What does the church think about the second coming of Christ?”
Archbishop: “I hope your question has nothing to do with this flight!”
He went on to describe his seatmate asking him to explain it all to him. “Do you want the long or short version?”, quipped the Archbishop. The passenger replied, “It’s a long flight.” After doing his best to explain our belief that one day Christ will come again, the passenger responded, “This is good stuff. Do you ever tell anyone about it?”
The Archbishop questioned aloud whether we do enough to evangelize with those around us. The living eucharist is only alive when it is shared as life for the world. He encouraged all present to not be shy about sharing…
Next up was Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, communities who provide hospitality and fellowship for those living with disabilities. To date there are 131 communities in 34 different countries. If you’ve ever heard Jean Vanier speak, you’ll know it’s always with passion and comes from his selfless experience of giving to those who are often pushed to the margins. One of his central themes during his talk in French, was translating our thoughts into actions led by the heart. As he said,
“When you live in your head, it’s not very dangerous – but when the head enters the heart and we enter into a new, deeper relationship, it’s no longer generosity, we become vulnerable and giving begins.”
“The Good News is not just a few nice words. The Good News is, I love you, I will be your friend...To be like Jesus, we need to be able to wash the feet of one another –not just our friends but especially our enemies, the poor, the vulnerable.”The morning concluded with mass, celebrated by His Eminence, Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada. In his french homily, the Cardinal made an interesting parallel with the eucharist, body of Christ. He touched on the current food crisis in the world, calling on church, government and the United Nations to intervene so that food might be properly distributed and made affordable to all people. He spoke of our celebration of the “bread of life” and stressed we cannot receive the eucharist and then ignore the plight of those struggling to find enough money to purchase their own “daily bread”. Delegates affirmed this point with applause throughout his homily.
After the morning liturgy, there was a brief press conference with the morning speakers. About 100 media representatives packed the press tent for the briefing, where Cardinal Ouellet summed up the congress to date, extending an invitation to all Quebecers “believers and non-believers” to make their way to the Eucharistic Cité where all sorts of exhibits, workshops and youth encounters are ongoing throughout the week.
Photos: Emanuel Pires