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'Open our hearts to your light and warmth, that they may transform us'

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

These are the introductory remarks from the Eucharistic Congress 'I am with you always, to the close of the age,' Sunday, Sept. 17, 2000, in Magness Arena at the University of Denver's Daniel L. Ritchie Center.

I want to welcome and thank all of you everywhere in the arena who have made the pilgrimage to be here today -- whether you've come from a great distance like Rangely or Julesburg, or from a short distance like Brighton, or Littleton or right here in Denver. This is the first eucharistic congress in the Archdiocese of Denver in anyone's memory. So this is a historic moment, a moment of grace, a special opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ

I want you to keep one question in your mind throughout the day: Why are we gathered here? I look out on all of you, and I can see friends from Glenwood Springs and Sterling and Aurora, people from all over northern Colorado. Hmong, Vietnamese, Koreans, Native Americans, African-Americans, Spanish-speakers, English-speakers -- and on the surface, we all seem so different from one another in age, language, work or culture.

But we're not. We have the same faith, the same Lord -- and that makes us one people, one family. Why are we gathered here? We're here responding to Christ's own invitation to be part this event. This congress today celebrates the true presence of Jesus Christ among us. For all of us here in northern Colorado, this the summit of the Jubilee. And just as the Apostles were brought by Jesus to the summit of Mont Tabor to witness his transfiguration, so we're invited to this summit today, to witness the glory of Jesus Christ whose transfigured body and blood shine in the Eucharist.

Like his disciples, we're coming here today to be nourished by Jesus Christ, by His words and by the teachings that will be generously shared with us by Cardinal Castrillón and Bishop O'Malley -- but above all by His flesh and blood, truly present in the Eucharist. So as we begin, let's settle our hearts and turn them to Jesus Christ:

We are following you, Lord, to this summit -- you, who are the same yesterday, today and for ever -- to see the light of your love shining before us and upon us. Open our hearts to your light and warmth, so that they may transform us . . . and make us bearers of your light and warmth to the whole world. Jesus Christ, God's Word incarnate, renew us and set us on fire with your presence. Lord, you who promised to be with us always, remain with us forever in the love we share in your name, in the power of the Scriptures - but above all, in the sacrament of your body and blood. Amen.



Copyright © 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved