Cardinal Calls for a Text or Tweet on Jesus' Friendship

Irish Eucharistic Congress Prepares for 2012 Global Event

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KNOCK, Ireland, JUNE 27, 2011 ( With thousands of Catholics gathered around the Eucharist at Ireland’s national Marian shrine Saturday, the archbishop of Armagh encouraged youth to send a text or a tweet to share the message of Jesus’ friendship.

Cardinal Seán Brady made this invitation at the national Eucharistic congress held in Knock as part of the preparation for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress to be hosted in Dublin in June 2012.

The weekend’s festivities in Knock included workshops hosted by the organizers of the global congress.

Carinal Brady, primate of All Ireland, presided over Saturday’s Mass. 

«The celebrations in Knock provide an opportunity to remind ourselves that we are part of something bigger than ourselves,» the cardinal said.

The prelate expressed his hope that both this year’s and next year’s events would «help to bring healing to the social, economic, spiritual and moral wounds that have so deeply afflicted our country and Church in recent times.»

Join in 

Cardinal Brady’s message to young people noted they were at Knock in the context of the Eucharistic congress as well as an annual youth festival.

«You have come to Knock to reflect and pray about a very interesting topic: ‘Fuel for the Journey.’ The journey is the journey of life and Jesus is the Bread of Life — fuel for the Journey of Life,» he said. The cardinal also noted how on Friday, the young people prayed before the Blessed Sacrament during all-night adoration and that, on Saturday, they were to receive the sacrament of reconciliation.

«Going to confession is precious because confession is the means to restoring our friendship and communion with God which we lose by sin,» he said.

The 71-year-old prelate invited the youth to become young apostles.

«I would ask each of you to send a text, or to tweet, or to post on a blog or to email at least one of your friends,» the cardinal said. «Tell them about this gathering of friendship and faith here today.

«Invite them to become part of the preparations for the congress in Dublin next year.»

Sight and sound

Cardinal Brady said that the gathering at Knock was a sign that faith is still important to the people of Ireland. But he then posed the question: «Why is that faith not more visible and more audible?»

He said lack of faith is not new, referencing Saturday’s First Reading, in which Sarah did not believe God that she would conceive a child. «Sarah laughs in disbelief,» said Cardinal Brady. «We too live in an age where faith is … increasingly mocked and ridiculed.» 

He went on to say that while Jesus «understands the weakness of the human condition» and «reaches out to us with compassion and a love that heals,» he also challenges us. «He is not afraid to confront us about our laziness, our selfishness and our sin.»

«He calls us to conversion because these things hold us back from experiencing the fullness of life that God wants us to have,» the Armagh archbishop reflected. «This is the fullness of life that comes from our immersion in the word of life and in the Eucharist — the Bread of Life.»

Do this

Cardinal Brady also addressed those who might not attend Mass on a regular basis, but are still called and loved by God. 

«My hope is that in this year of preparation those who have drifted away from regular participation in the Mass will hear with fresh hearts the simple request of Jesus to all of us: ‘Do this in memory of me,'» he said.

«At the heart of all of this will be what is called the New Evangelization,» the cardinal affirmed. «Not new in content — but new in fervor and in faith. It is a new commitment to making known a message of joy and hope for all humankind that is celebrated and made present in every Eucharist.»

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