AFRICA/DR CONGO - "We are blessed because Jesus gives us his flesh". Cardinal Tagle celebrates the closing Mass of the National Eucharistic Congress

Monday, 12 June 2023 eucharist   dicastery for evangelization   cardinal tagle   pope francis   refugees  

Lumumbashi (Agenzia Fides) - Christ himself "promised to dwell in those who will receive his body and his blood: a promise and gift of his presence". And "his presence is active and dynamic. His presence makes us a new creation". Thus, Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, indicated the Sacrament of the Eucharist as the food that assimilates poor human creatures to Christ, who became flesh to give them salvation and happiness. He said this while presiding over the closing Eucharistic liturgy of the National Eucharistic Congress held in Lumumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, from June 4 to 11. "We are blessed", said Cardinal Tagle "because Jesus gives us his flesh".
On April 25, Pope Francis had signed the letter in Latin appointing Cardinal Tagle as his Special Envoy to the third National Eucharistic Congress of the Church of the DRC, scheduled in Lumumbashi, the third largest city in the country. Yesterday, Sunday, June 11, the day the Catholic Church celebrates the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization in his homily, conveyed to the participants of the Congress "the fatherly greetings of Pope Francis" and reminded the children of this country that the Bishop of Rome after his recent visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (January 31 to February 3, 2023), "has continued to show in various ways how close you are to his heart".

In his homily, inspired by the readings of the day, Cardinal Tagle evoked the sacramental mystery of the divine Eucharist that animates the Church. "There are cravings," the Cardinal acknowledged, "that subjugate people and make them drink from the sources of greed, corruption and manipulation: we have an appetite for the latest fashion, the latest cell phone and the latest weapon or rocket. We have fed too much on anger, jealousy and competitiveness. And the food and drink these cravings drive us to will sicken us, our families, and our world. They will make the poor even poorer". To eat the body of Christ given for us "is instead to feed us out of his humility, generosity and love. To drink His blood shed for us is to quench our thirst with His mercy, justice and forgiveness. To live from the Word of God made flesh and blood means to live as he lived, always in filial communion with God and always in fraternal communion with his brothers and sisters, especially with the weakest and forgotten". In this way - as Saint Paul writes in the Letter to the Corinthians - "the family of God is born of the Eucharist" which "makes us the family of God. Even if we are many, even if we differ from one another, we are one family in Jesus Christ".
Today, Monday, June 12, Cardinal Tagle travels to Goma, capital of the martyred North Kivu region, where he will also meet with refugees who have had to flee conflict zones between the army and the M23 rebel militias, or had to get to safety from the recent eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano.
Already in early June, Bishop Willy Ngumbi of Goma, during a meeting with the media, had invited the entire population to hear the message of peace and forgiveness that Cardinal Tagle, as papal envoy, delivered on Tuesday 13 June from Mount Carmel Church addressed to the entire population and also to the parties involved in the conflict. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 12/6/2023)