Presence, Memorial, Sacrifice: The Three Challenges Of The Eucharist
By: Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD
Bishop of Pasig
PASIG CITY – “This is the teaching of Christ: presence, memorial, and sacrifice. Immerse in the silence; look at the Blessed Sacrament; contemplate the face of Christ. He is there in communion with us, with loving presence.”
These are the concluding words of Pasig Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara he led the people of the diocese in a synchronized Worldwide Eucharistic Adoration with Pope Francis held last June 2, 2013 at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Pasig City.
The Diocese of Pasig is one with Pope Francis in celebrating the Year of Faith, in which the primary challenge is to renew the faith.
Recalling the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, Bishop Vergara explained Lumen Gentium describing the Eucharist as “the source and summit of Christian life”.
“How can we renew our commitment in the Risen Lord?” challenged Bishop Mylo as he reflected on the three realities that go with the Eucharist.
Presence is when Jesus proclaimed himself as the living bread. “Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we are before the living bread,” explained the Bishop.
“Christians do not understand that Jesus is alive. Sometimes, they celebrate mass without piety. Notice how they enter the church and give no reverence for the Eucharist.”
“If Jesus is living bread, then in every mass, show piety and reverence,” reminded Bishop Mylo.
Recalling what happened during the last supper, Bishop Mylo explained, “Every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we raise the host and the cup, we say, ‘This is my body … this is my blood … do this in memory of me.’”
“Here, the challenge is to realize that we are in front of a living memory and we are to live it.” The bishop said, “The challenge is to become like Jesus and live what we recall and remember.”
According to the bishop, we remember the sacrifice on the cross and the blood that was shed.
“This sacrifice happens in every celebration. It is done by the Lord himself,” the bishop explained.
Speaking in the vernacular, the sacrifices of Jesus on cross gives meaning to our own sacrifices.
“Humuhugot tayo ng lakas sa sakramento sa bigat ng buhay. Yung iba, umiiyak habang nagdadasal sa harap. Hindi sila nag-iisa; kasama natin ang Panginoong nagsasakripisyo para sa atin.” (We get our strength from the Sacrament during the heavy experiences of life. Other shed tears while praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament. They are not alone; the Lord is sacrificing for us.)
The Pasig Cathedral was filled with worshippers coming from different parishes of the Diocese of Pasig. It is was held at 11 PM Philippine time, the same time the Holy Father prayed before the Blessed Sacrament at 5 PM Rome time. (Report by Fr. Lito Jopson, Pasig Diocesan Office of Communication 20130614)