Dive Deep Into the Paschal Mystery, Urges Cardinal
[From Zenit.org, June 17, 2008]
Don't remain at the edge of the mystery of the Eucharist, but rather dive deep into it to learn what remains to be known, urged the archbishop of Krakow.
Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz said this today in a homily he delivered on the second day of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, under way in Quebec through Sunday.
Some 11,000 pilgrims, 50 cardinals and more than 100 bishops have gathered to reflect on the theme, "The Eucharist, the Gift of God for the Life of the World."
"The Eucharist is not only a memorial of the paschal mystery in the sense of a memory and of making our Lord's paschal journey present," said Cardinal Dziwisz. "The Eucharist is also a memorial which places the believer before the question of his own 'I remember; I recall,' a memorial that places the whole community of the Church before the question: What does 'I remember, I recall' mean?"
"'I remember' means 'I am present' to the paschal mystery, 'I let myself be drawn' into such a dimension of the world, in which God saves each man and the whole of humanity," explained the cardinal.
He continued: "It is with the grace of faith [...] that I ascend to Calvary to see, to contemplate the one and only paschal Lamb. I leave the Galilee of miracles, the Samaria of questions on the living water and the Jerusalem of debates with the Pharisees, I take leave of the Sea of Galilee— the lake of abundant and miserable fish, the lake of tempest and calm— and I arrive to Golgotha, and I am there, at the heart of the mystery of salvation.
"'I remember, I recall, in a Eucharistic way,' means that I am not anywhere but in the heart of the Church, in the heart of man and in the heart of God himself."
"'I remember' means that I also make that mystery present here, where I am," he added.
"The man who has once set foot on Golgotha," said Cardinal Dziwisz "with the gift of the grace of faith, always bears in his heart the mark of the paschal sacrifice. 'I remember in a Eucharistic way' means that I am a living image and witness of the death and resurrection of our Lord."
"We would be ungrateful to the Eucharist," he continued, "if we locked it up on the altars of the whole world. We would be simple spectators of Christ's sacrifice of salvation on Calvary, if we ourselves did not become Calvary."
The 69-year-old cardinal then contemplated the paschal mystery. "Above all, one must be humble before the mystery.
"Humility before the mystery means a simple and profound faith, knowing that for God the bread and wine, the Body and Blood are sufficient to ransom the whole world."
"The mystery does not invite only to humility," Cardinal Dziwisz added. "The mystery also calls for knowledge.
"If I know that I am at the edge of an ocean, I ask myself what there is beyond the horizon. At the same time, with this question there comes a pure desire to leave, to discover and know something that is still unimaginable, inconceivable today. [...]
"If then the Eucharist is a paschal mystery, and we are aware of still being at the edge of this great mystery, let us not be afraid and stay outside of it. Let us allow ourselves to be carried by this natural desire to know that which is still impenetrable. Let us not think that we know everything and that we have already learned everything."
The cardinal continued: "He who stays at the edge of a great ocean means to say in fact that there is nothing new beyond the horizon. To believe that the Eucharist is a mystery is, in fact, to never tire of getting to knowing our Lord's paschal journey more profoundly."
"Easter is above all the path to freedom," continued Cardinal Dziwisz. "When the chosen people sat down at the table in Egypt on that unforgettable evening, the tenth of the first month, to eat the paschal lamb, all the people thought it was the last evening of captivity.
"When Jesus, the paschal Lamb, was immolated on the cross, God, with the death of his Son, set humanity free on the path of liberty."
He continued, "Everyday in the Eucharist, on the altars of the entire world, God says [...] 'You are no longer a slave, but a son.'"
"It's the gift of the Eucharist for the world," the archbishop of Krakow affirmed. "The gift assures the end of captivity, Easter liberates everyone.
"To celebrate Easter also means to eat. One can also say that there is no passage, no path to liberty, without eating the Pasch."
"If for us the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Pasch of the New Covenant, and the Eucharist is the memorial and the presence, it is difficult to speak of the liberating gift of the Eucharist if it isn't eaten," said Cardinal Dziwisz. "Neither the Body nor the Blood of the Lord will ever be a gift for us or for the world if they are not eaten with dignity."