“The Eucharist builds the Church and the Church makes the Eucharist” said Saint John Paul II in his Encyclical letter “Ecclesia de Eucharistia”. It is amazing how the 15,000 pilgrims of the Eucharistic Congress are very much like a big family now. Everyone talks to everyone; there are so many gestures of charity and service. Sometimes we meet someone and feel that we’ve known each other for a long time. I think this bond of charity comes from the Eucharistic “overdose” we received throughout the past week.
Sr Anne-Bennedicte is from Taiwan. I met her on our way to the Youth Rally today. As we were talking, we found out that we entered religious life in the same year and that we professed our perpetual vows in the same year as well. When I told her that, she said, surprise, “Wow, we are twins!” So we exchanged prayer cards, and promised we would pray for each other. The card she gave me has the picture of the Blessed Mother and Baby Jesus with a Taiwanese look. This is the universality of the Church and the Congress.
In the afternoon we had the Youth Rally in a Gymnasium with more than 5,000 teenagers. Bishop Barron gave an enthusiastic talk about the importance of the gift of oneself. He said that like Jesus in the Eucharist, the only way we will find fulfillment is serving others. Later we had Holy Mass followed by a Marian procession in the streets of Cebu. It was wonderful to express our Catholic Faith publicly in the streets with so much excitement and joy. Wherever the procession passed there were people in the streets watching, playing local music, praying, and of course, taking lots of pictures (as people say here, photography is the eighth sacrament). The youth finished the rally kneeling in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament!
Please say a Hail Mary for the fruits of the Youth Rally! May each boy and girl that attended it always love the Blessed Sacrament with their whole hearts.
This Our Lady of China is painted by Hong Kong Catholic artist, Gary Chu, and this oil painting is installed at the North Cathedral in Beijing. Our Lady of China, pray for us and our faithful youth!