In less than six weeks time Ireland will host the 50th Eucharistic Congress, 80 years after the Eucharistic congress was held here in 1932. There have been many changes in Ireland in the intervening period of the last 80 years. The contemporary context of modern Ireland is very different. The style, purpose and outcome of Eucharistic Congresses have also altered considerably over the years. In recent times an International Eucharistic Congress is more like a festival of faith, consisting of seminars, concerts, workshops, exhibitions and most importantly and above all else the daily celebration of the Mass. The upshot of all of this is that the 2012 Congress will be quite unlike that held eighty years ago. From the 10th to the 17th June many people will come to Dublin from all over the world in celebration of their faith that is faith in God in communion with Christ and one another. I know that our visitors from all over the world will get a truly great Irish welcome as many Irish people have received a warm welcome from other countries over the years. The theme of the 50th Eucharistic Congress is in Communion with Christ and with One another. All of us should stop and ponder the theme and how it affects us in our daily lives and living, and how we relate to our Eucharistic sharing in the Mass and with one another and how we bring that sharing out into the wider world.
As a result of our participation in the Congress whether we go to Dublin or stay at home we should be encouraging each other to live simply and happily, building a community that welcomes and loves all those who feel that they are unwelcome and unloved. Many people have turned against a greedy world where they see and such an uncaring and unloving place. It was no easier or harder for those who in past generations who heard the voice of Christ in those less well off, and saw his face in those who were in need of love and care in need of a friendly word of encouragement, those people were able to reach out in their time and so taking their examples as a role models we should be able to reach out to all who are in need in the world of today.
Jesus when he spoke had great clarity of vision he continually spoke out against the injustices that were taking place in his own time. We should not forget the words of Jesus were there when they were first spoken and continue to be here in our present age to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. My hope is that we will listen to the voice of Jesus in the broken hearts, and in the victims of our society the people out there who are hungry or lost, lonely or frightened, helpless or sick; and then in the days, weeks months and years ahead we can truly say that we are in communion with Christ and one another as one body of faithful people .