Friday was quite the day. As usual we had the various talks including one by Cardinal Toppo of India who challenged us not to honour Christ in the church only to neglect him outside. This was followed by the rather entertaining witness by Mr. Jose Prado of the San Andres School of Evangelization. He uses various props to make his point.
His spiritual life was like a Coke-lite (diet coke) it looks ok but has none of the calories… or substance. Then he spoke of how he knew so much about the Scripture but did not really know Jesus. His faith was all in his head. It was like having a frozen steak. It is real food, it is substantial but it is useless because nobody can eat a frozen steak. We need to thaw our faith and prepare it for others to share. Like a good BBQ, just the smell of the good grilled steak should draw others.
Here’s our fearless leader Fr. Liborio with Bishop Hundt. The bishop led our prayers at the Shrine of St. Anne and also appeared at the back of the Ursuline Convent where we had prayers. His has been a humble and simple presence at the Congress that has not gone unnoticed by our pilgrims.
In the evening we had a blessing and commissioning ceremony for our Pilgrims on the top of Mont-Sainte-Anne. We used the gondolas to the top and assembled together while the heavens broke open and the rain poured forth. The pilgrims were soaked! I was absolutely amazed by the kindness and compassion of the pilgrims for one another on the top of the mountain. It ended with refreshments at the chalet!
Saturday morning we heard from Cardinal Tumi of Cameroon who challenged us to have a Eucharistic theology that leads to pardon, justice and reconciliation. He told he story of the a protestant friend who could not understand how God would come to us in a simple piece of bread. The Cardinal responded that neither could he understand. It was a matter of faith! The cardinal suggested that it was the same as Trinitarian math that even his friend would understand.1+1+1=1. If we can believe in that we should be able to believe in the Eucharist.
Here’s Peter and Judy Beca at the Congress
The witness talk was by Ms. Marguerite Barankitse from Burundi who spoke of her work of reconcilation. She has confronted the evil of hatred with love and has made an incredible difference. She challenged us to find the Eucharist not in pastoral letters of bishops or in convents but in the market place. We are the Eucharist, we need to get out and meet the Lord in our brothers and sisters.