Bishop Jugis: The Eucharist is the love that can change our world
CHARLOTTE — In a world sadly in need of love, there is one place we know it can be found: at the altar in the Eucharist, Bishop Peter Jugis said during his homily at the closing Mass of the 2011 Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte on Sept. 24. Bishop Jugis encouraged his flock to embrace the Eucharist, placing Christ firmly at the center of our lives.
Catholics from across the Diocese of Charlotte filled the Charlotte Convention Center for the two-day congress, and attendance was unusually high for the closing Mass in Hall A, which was overflowing with worshippers.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, Bishop Jugis reminded the thousands of faithful, but he then asked, "Is it really the center of our life, around which everything revolves? Does the Eucharist give life to everything we do, day in, day out?"
Bishop Jugis said we should be eager to receive Christ in the Eucharist – eager to receive Him into our lives and eager to express our love for Him in all that we do.
"Are we eager to know our Christian faith? Are we eager to go to Sunday Mass?" he asked. The early Christians were, and we should model our lives on theirs, he said.
Bishop Jugis said that our love for Christ in the Eucharist should be mirrored in our love for each other and for our parish communities, just as the first Christians loved being together and caring for each other's needs.
"I want to thank you for your devotion to your parishes," he said. "Thank you for showing the world by your attendance at Mass that you are devoted to being together" and demonstrating that Sunday is the Lord's day, a reference to the theme of keynote speaker Cardinal Francis Arinze, who spoke Friday about the importance of keeping Sunday holy.
Bishop Jugis pointed out that the Apostles ordained seven deacons to minister to the needs of widows and the poor during the early days of the Church – the level of charity of the early Christians was so great that it took seven men all day every day to distribute it. This was "an avalanche" of love, an outpouring of love and eagerness to serve others that the community in Jerusalem possessed. Today, the faithful need to recapture that same sense of enthusiasm and abundance of love for one another, he said.
Too, the faithful's communal "Amen!" at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer during Mass is an expression of our eagerness to receive Christ into our lives, Bishop Jugis said. It signifies our recognition of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and it gives us the opportunity to worship and adore Him. He said that our enthusiastic response of faith during that moment is as if we are saying, "My Savior comes to me!"
He concluded, "May His love lift you up. Jesus eagerly desires to give Himself to you. With joy let us receive Him!"
— Patricia Guilfoyle, editor. Photos by SueAnn Howell and Patricia Guilfoyle.
Batrice Adcock: Sexuality, the gift of communionPope St. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body" is a catechesis in defense of Pope Paul VI's 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae" ("Of Human Life"), which reaffirms Church teaching against artificial contraception, in the context of Catholic teaching...
Denise Bossert: Make this Advent a pilgrimage of the heartI have dipped my toes in the chaos of the Christmas-before-Advent scene. I've been to the mall once. I've landed on radio stations that play Christmas music around the clock – and quickly popped in my rosary CD to escape the noise. I've seen...
April Parker: Come to the stable this ChristmasWhile visiting family members one evening for an early Christmas dinner, my aunt suggested that my family drive by the live Nativity scene that her church was putting on just down the street. Since she made mention of live animals, my 4-year-old...
Dr. Kamila Valenta: Celebrating Christmas in peace is a privilegeThe times when the celebration of Christmas was banned in New England by the Puritans and people could be fined for saying "Merry Christmas" is now an amusing tale from a long-forgotten historical past of this country. Today the vast majority...
Sister Constance Veit: Give the gift of 'presence' this ChristmasChristmas is the feast of encounter, the celebration of God's love and nearness. "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth," we read in St. John's Gospel. God became one of us! He united himself to every man, woman and...
Father Patrick Hoare: We don't speak up enough for lifeRecently, the newspaper in our city ran a series of stories about "cheaters" in the construction industry. It is estimated that more than one-third of contractors in our state do not follow the law in classifying and reporting the payroll of...
Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage work?The one indispensable ingredient in marriage is communication. Communication requires active listening, using "I" statements, paying attention to one's feelings and to those of one's spouse, and learning how to "fight fair." Put another way,...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Many do not know about St. Gianna Beretta MolloOn July 20, 2014, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced that Pope St. John Paul II and St. Gianna Beretta Mollo have been chosen as the patron saints of the World Meeting of Families which will...
Home School Fine Arts Festival had outstanding quality, jubilant spiritIt was a pleasure to read the Sept. 12 article about the success of the Home School Fine Arts Festival. My husband and I attended the closing theatrical performance as guests, unaffiliated in...
Thank you for commentary on recent Latino CatholicsRico De Silva's recent commentary entitled "Growing number of Latino Catholics in the U.S. flying below the Church's radar" was so spot on that it had me immediately thanking God, this column,...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy