Thursday, 10 July 2008

International Eucharistic Congress: Catechesis by Cardinal Phillippe Barbarin

Cardinal Barbarin is the Archbishop of Lyons. During the Congress he gave a catechesis entitled "Memory and Sacrifice". He described our celebration of the Eucharist as bringing us to Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter morning. Translation from the original French transcript of the catechesis is my own and the photo credits go to

In talking first about Holy Thursday, Cardinal Barbarin refers to the episode of the washing of the feet recorded in St John's Gospel:

We are truly at the side of Jesus, like those who accompanied him, on the evening of Holy Thursday. It is a wonderful moment of friendship and gentleness ... Yes, humility is the queen of all the virtues, and those who participate at Mass understand, in looking at the example given by the Servant, that their vocation is to serve, whatever their state of life. They also feel that the atmosphere of the Church is that of a family....

But the Eucharist also makes us contemporaries of Good Friday. It is the hour of supreme sacrifice, when the Lord poured out his blood on the cross, for the forgiveness of our sins ....

Finally, the celebration of the Eucharist is above all the mystery of Easter morning. The love of God triumphs over so much hate and injustice, and the body of Jesus, living and risen again, is held before us.

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