By Joshua Solano
Though the Philippines, Cebu in specific, is experiencing the strong El Niñ o this year, the delegates of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress from around the world welcomed the warmth of Christ through the opening mass held at the Plaza Independencia.
“I expect that it will be a great encounter for everyone,” says Father Christopher Vogel, a translator for the IEC.
Even as the very hot weather is new to him, he believes that the warmth of Christ should prevail in each one of us during the days of the congress.
“With Christ and the Eucharist, I expect that Christ will transform the hearts of many many people during these days. And I think that it will be a blessing for each and every one of us,” he added.
Mary Joe Payton, one of the delegates of the IEC, came all the way from California to witness the Eucharist together with the humility of the Filipinos together with other representatives of Mary Mother of God, who enjoyed their stay in Cebu because of the beautiful surroundings and the hospitality of the people.
“This is the second time that I attended the Eucharistic Congress. We also attended the last one in Ireland. I want to have a deeper appreciation of the Eucharist and for our fellowmen.” Payton said.
Another delegate, Fr. Dennis Ordillo, came all the way from the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao to witness the unparalleled presence of Christ through the Eucharist.
“Aside for my personal transformation as a priest – to love more the Holy Eucharist, I expect to do as what he [by Cardinal Bo, SDB, Papal Legate] said in the homily that the Eucharist is not just about the celebration but it’s all about including other people most especially the poor.”
The spirit of those who are gathered in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress was filled with blazing love and devotion to the Body and Blood of Christ. Though the Congress will help the delegates on what they should do in life, it is not enough that we simply be in it. We must nourish the experience and spread the Good News of Salvation!