By Vernon Khelawan
In a Sunday homily some weeks ago Fr Ferdinand Warner OP, Parish Priest of both the Curepe Fatima and St John the Baptist parishes, opened the eyes of his congregation when he stated, “The Eucharist shapes every aspect of our lives.”
He said because the Eucharist was so intertwined in the daily lives of Roman Catholics, “we can talk about our Eucharistic worldview and our daily living, combining to form and strengthen our Catholic identity.”
Speaking to his congregation at St John the Baptist RC Church on St John Road, St Augustine, Fr Warner said, the Eucharist was a story of generosity. “It is Jesus giving Himself whole and entire. Unlike ordinary food, we become the Eucharist we eat and that is why we (as Roman Catholics) can say we are a Eucharistic people.”
What Fr Warner emphatically brought home to his people was the fact that the Eucharist is the greatest and most awesome display of Catholic culture and identity and the Church has no choice but to live up to it purposefully.
“What makes us Catholic,” added Fr Warner, “is our conformity with Christ. The more we share in the Eucharist, the more we become like Christ.” So when the Gospel reveals a Christ who is generous beyond compare, who gives Himself whole and entire to each and every person, then generosity ought to be visible among us as a Eucharistic people.
Since the Eucharist is one of the most poignant reminders of our Catholic culture and identity, we in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain need to ensure that the message of the Eucharist resonates among us as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the region, and even positively impacts the world Church.
In this time when our archdiocese is placing such emphasis on Revitalising Catholic Culture and Identity, Catholics must regard as paramount the recognition of the importance of the Eucharist.