ROME, JUNE 14, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Observance of a Year of the Eucharist means the reawakening of “the joy and strength to be witnesses not of something … but of Someone, of the living Lord,” says a theologian.
Monsignor Bruno Forte, a member of the International Theological Commission, told Vatican Radio “[since] the Eucharist is Christ who gives himself in person, alive and true, to observe a Eucharistic Year means to place again, with a new impulse, in the center of our lives and of the mission of the Church the only Lord, Christ.”
The Year of the Eucharist convoked by John Paul II last Thursday, on the feast of Corpus Christi, will begin with the World Eucharistic Congress, Oct. 10-17, in Guadalajara, Mexico.
It will end with the next ordinary assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in the Vatican from Oct. 2-29, 2005. The theme of the synod will be “The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.”
Monsignor Forte, in his interview, said that in the face of “the fall of the myths of modernity and ideologies, it is necessary to give a reason for life and hope that is not ideological and therefore violent, that will help overcome the sense of abandonment and victimization which often traps our contemporaries.”
Consequently, “to place in the center the One who gives meaning to life means to respond to a very profound need of the age in which we live,” the theologian continued.
“Also, faced with scenes of violence and war which we witness especially since 2001 and by the tragic response of war and the no less tragic and even more barbarous violence of terrorism, I think it is important to emphasize that truth is not something that one possesses but Someone,” Monsignor Forte said.
“If the Son of God has assumed a body, if the Eucharist, the transubstantiated bread and wine are the Body and Blood of Christ, then this matter which makes up the world is not condemned matter, is not negativity, but rather a profound value, the value its Creator has given it, which man’s sin has darkened in some way, but which precisely the redemption of Christ restores to it,” he added.
This point of view has an important repercussion in regard to New Age — the “modern Gnosis, … an attempt to make man think that he can save himself on his own,” the Italian theologian said. “While the Eucharist is profoundly human and close to man because it is transubstantiated matter of this world, it is also nourishment that comes from heaven, precisely because it is not simply a fruit of the earth.”
This is why “a world that opens itself in invocation to the gift of God is destined not only to eternal salvation, but also to reassess man’s humanity, the condition of flesh, of tears, of history, of the earth of which we are made, which has been assumed by the Son of God and transfigured by him,” Monsignor Forte said.
“Christ has come for the salvation of each and all,” he added. “A Eucharistic Year means not only to rediscover Christ as the center of the believer’s heart and faith, but it also means to rediscover the missionary drive and passion of proclaiming him, the Truth that saves to the ends of the earth.”