Multan (Agenzia Fides) - "We want to make the Eucharist the center of our Christian life, our families and our homes": with this spirit, the Catholic Church in Pakistan celebrates 2018 as a special "Year of the Eucharist": this is what Bishop Benny Travas, at the head of the diocese in Multan says to Fides. The Bishop is president of the liturgical Commission of the Bishops' Conference of Pakistan.
As explained to Fides, the idea was born of the participation of a Pakistani delegation at the International Eucharistic Congress which was celebrated in Cebu, Philippines. "It was a touching experience - the Bishop said - and we wanted to revive this spirit in Pakistan.
All the Bishops of our Conference approved the idea of proclaiming 2018 as the Year of the Eucharist".
The theme is from the Gospel of John: "I am the bread of life" and the solemn inauguration will be held from 24 to 26 November in Karachi, with an Eucharistic Celebration in St. Patrick's Cathedral. There will also be programs and initiatives at a diocesan level. The closing ceremony will take place in Lahore from 21 to 24 November 2018. An organizing Committee, composed by a representative for each diocese, is preparing pastoral programs and pastoral support. Bishop Travas suggests, for example, "the Eucharistic Adoration in every parish, encounters, and catechesis for young people, families, schools, and children".
The lives of Christians in Pakistan, concludes Mgr. Travas, "is already a Eucharistic life when in the face of sufferings, violence or unjustified discrimination, one thanks and praises God. But this strength and spirit can only come by putting the Eucharist as the source and culmination of individual life, of every believer who lives in our beloved country".
As confirmed to Fides, the month of August saw the killing of three Christians in Pakistan, due to disputes related to matters of property ownership but also of religious character". In the face of every form of violence, ours is a Eucharistic attitude: we do not respond with evil but by entrusting our suffering to God, accepting his will, blessing and thanking, praying for peace". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/9/2017)