News News from Hungary The online pre-meet­ing, organ­ised in the spir­it of the Eucharist, has ended

The online pre-meet­ing, organ­ised in the spir­it of the Eucharist, has ended

This unique meet­ing was held exact­ly at the orig­i­nal­ly sched­uled time of the Inter­na­tion­al Eucharis­tic Con­gress that should have tak­en place in Budapest these days, but has been post­poned for next year.

Upon Car­di­nal Péter Erdő’s invi­ta­tion, the guest speak­ers, the wit­ness­es have sent video messages.

These short videos have arrived from 11 coun­tries of the five con­ti­nents and have been uploaded to the YouTube chan­nel of the Congress.

This online pre-meet­ing was opened by Car­di­nal, Pri­mate Péter Erdő, on the 13th Sep­tem­ber. The Chief Pas­tor under­lined the impor­tance of the prayer by which we could reflect togeth­er on the huge expe­ri­ence and shock that the pan­dem­ic brought into our lives.

The open­ing day start­ed with Mons. Piero Marini’s mes­sage from Rome. The Pres­i­dent of the Pon­tif­i­cal Com­mit­tee for Inter­na­tion­al Eucharis­tic Con­gress­es empha­sized that this coro­n­avirus showed us what real­ly mat­ters: the Holy Mass has nev­er stopped dur­ing the pan­dem­ic, rather, hav­ing been inspired by the Eucharist, it has man­i­fest­ed in sol­i­dar­i­ty. Mons. Mari­ni has called us for an eco­log­i­cal con­ver­sion, since, in the hope of a bet­ter future, we are all respon­si­ble for the Globe as well as for our fel­low humans.

On 14th Sep­tem­ber, Valer­ian Madu­ka Okeke, the Arch­bish­op of the Onit­sha Dio­cese, Nige­ria, sent his mes­sage. In his mes­sage the African Arch­bish­op thanked the “good peo­ple of Hun­gary”, the Gov­ern­ment of Hun­gary and the peo­ple of God for show­ing them the Eucharis­tic love, and sup­port­ed with dona­tions the African com­mu­ni­ty starv­ing from hunger, while suf­fer­ing from Chris­t­ian per­se­cu­tion and the pan­dem­ic as well.

On the 15th Sep­tem­ber, the grate­ful­ness of the per­se­cut­ed Chaldean Catholic Com­mu­ni­ty was for­ward­ed to the peo­ple and the Gov­ern­ment of Hun­gary by the video mes­sage of Car­di­nal Louis Raphaël Sako, Patri­arch of the Chaldean Catholic Church. The war for many long years in Iraq has caused deep wounds. The leader of the Catholic com­mu­ni­ty empha­sized that though the prayer itself could not change the events direct­ly, but it could influ­ence both the heart of the per­son expe­ri­enc­ing those events, and the person’s view­point as well. “The one who prays, enjoys the peace and expe­ri­ences the joy of kind­ness in his rela­tion with oth­ers” – mes­saged the leader of the Chaldean Catholic community.

On the 16th Sep­tem­ber, Tim­o­thy Dolan, the Arch­bish­op of New York puts into spot­light the impor­tance of the renew­al: “We can’t have renew­al in the Church unless there is a renew­al in our faith.”

On the 17th Sep­tem­ber, Johannes Hartl, the Ger­man the­olo­gian-philoso­pher, hav­ing been con­vert­ed as an adult, under­lined the phe­nom­e­non that dur­ing the lock­down time peo­ple turned towards prayer and spir­i­tu­al­i­ty. As to the the­olo­gian-lit­er­ary schol­ar the forms of deep prayer life need to be taught for peo­ple, so to sus­tain both the crises and the times of Eucharis­tic absences.

Also the same day had been broad­cast­ed the video mes­sage of Moy­ses Azeve­do, the founder of the Shalom Catholic Com­mu­ni­ty. He said that the virus had not been sent by God, since: “God is with us, God is present in the midst of the pain and suf­fer­ing of the mankind.” He also empha­sized: “We are not alone. Jesus promised us to be with us every day all along our lives. Lord gives us the mer­cy and strength to suc­ceed with the pow­er of the cross and resurrection.”

On the 18th Sep­tem­ber, Ägid­ius J. Zsifkovics, the dioce­san Bish­op of Eisen­stadt (Aus­tria) spoke about the unusu­al expe­ri­ences the Chris­tians went through in the times of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic. He put it into an ana­logue with the depri­va­tion expe­ri­enced by the sons of Israel dur­ing their wilder­ness wan­der­ing. He empha­sized that the Church could show the peo­ple where to relieve hunger by the heav­en­ly bread and to quench the thirst.

Also this day had been uploaded to the YouTube chan­nel the video mes­sage of the the­olo­gian, Dr. Mary Healy from Detroit. Through a Scrip­ture pas­sage she drew an anal­o­gy between the woman healed by Jesus from the flow of blood and that of the fear and the anx­i­ety many of us have been expe­ri­enc­ing recent­ly. She recalled Jesus’ words to the woman: “Daugh­ter, your faith has made you well.”

On the 19th Sep­tem­ber in his short film it was Car­di­nal Gérald Lacroix, Arch­bish­op of Que­bec who shared his thoughts, as to which the pan­dem­ic was an invi­ta­tion to deep­en our faith. The Con­gress is a per­fect instru­ment of this. Upon the expe­ri­ences of the Cana­di­an World Meet­ing he summed up: “The Con­gress helps us to hear Jesus’ call to cross the oth­er side and to meet all those who are not yet aware of the joy of God’s love.”

This same day, Jean-Luc Moens, the mod­er­a­tor of CHARIS spoke about the faith he expe­ri­enced in the locked-in times, about the out­stand­ing mer­cy and the dis­cov­ery of God’s pres­ence with­in him­self. He sum­ma­rized all this in sev­en words. “Jesus, I know you are here and I love you.”

On the 20th Sep­tem­ber, on the last day of the online pre-meet­ing Kon­stan­tin Szabó, Greek Catholic priest from Trans-Carpathia was talk­ing about their life in the forced con­fine­ment, how they real­ly expe­ri­enced hav­ing a fear of God and how their faith strength­ened. In his mes­sage Kon­stan­tin Szabó under­lined the most impor­tant above all that they were able to pass through these chal­leng­ing hard times with love.

Fol­low­ing the usu­al Sun­day Angelus Pope Frances extend­ed his greet­ings to Hun­gary, the Chief Pas­tors, and the faith­ful and to all of those who were expect­ing with faith and with joy the Budapest Inter­na­tion­al Eucharis­tic Con­gress. Accord­ing to the plans Pope Frances should have attend­ed the Clos­ing Mass of the World Meet­ing, now asked in his homi­ly: “Spir­i­tu­al­ly unit­ed, we are fol­low­ing this jour­ney of prepa­ra­tion, find­ing in the Eucharist the source of the Church’s life and mission.”

The online pre-meet­ing, organ­ised in the spir­it of the Inter­na­tion­al Eucharis­tic Con­gress has been closed by Car­di­nal, Pri­mate Péter Erdő. The Chief Pas­tor shared his thoughts on the Heroes’ Square. On a site, where the Open­ing and Clos­ing cer­e­monies of the 1938 Inter­na­tion­al Eucharis­tic Con­gress were tak­ing place. He was talk­ing from a square where in 1991 half a mil­lion wor­ship­pers of a coun­try seek­ing for its path and just lib­er­at­ed from the com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor­ship were pray­ing togeth­er with John Paul II, who stayed in Budapest that time. Amongst the many lessons the pan­dem­ic brought us, the Chief Pas­tor high­light­ed: “Many online Holy Mass­es have been broad­cast­ed, but every­one knew that these were far from being equiv­a­lent to that of a per­son­al pres­ence. Thus the desire for the Eucharist dom­i­nat­ed this year. May God grant that next year this time we may real­ly cel­e­brate togeth­er with the believ­ers arriv­ing from all over the world.”

Source: NEK