The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated the need for more concerted efforts in liturgical renewal to face the challenges of the present world which is fixated on material things; noting that this is the essence of the Eucharist in the life of the Christian.
This admonition was contained in the message of the Holy transmitted via video at the closing ceremony of the 50th World Eucharistic Congress, which ended in Dublin, Ireland on Sunday, June 17, 2012. The theme of the Congress was: The Eucharist: Communion with Christ and with One Another.
According to Pope Benedict XVI: “communion has been at the core of the Church’s understanding of herself, her relationship to Christ her founder and the Sacraments she celebrates above all the Eucharist.
Pointing out that the Church must learn to recognize anew the mysterious presence of the Risen Lord, which alone can give breadth and depth to life, the Pope said: “The Eucharist is the worship of the whole Church but it also requires the full engagement of each individual Christian in the Church’s mission, it contains a call to be the holy people of God but also one to individual holiness; It is to be celebrated with great joy and simplicity but also as worthily and reverently as possible: it invites us to repent of our sins, but also to forgive our brothers and sisters; it binds us together in the Spirit but it also commands us in the same Spirit to bring the good news of salvation to others.”
He continued: “Moreover, the Eucharist is the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, His body and blood given in the new and eternal covenant for the forgiveness of sins and the transformation of the world.”
Extolling the memories of Ireland as the reservoir of the Catholic Faith in the past, Pope Benedict XVI expressed deep concern on the present disappointing state of the faith in the country noting: “thankfulness and joy at such a great history of faith and love have recently been shaken in an appalling way by the revelation of sins committed by priests and consecrated persons against people entrusted to their care.”
While expressing the hope that the congress will renew the country, the Holy Father prayed that the Congress will be a spiritually fruitful experience of communion with Christ and his Church for all the participants. He then announced that the next congress will take place in 2016, in Cebul in the Philippine Islands.