Our oneness in the Eucharist Print
Living and Learning
Thursday, Apr. 02, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
Living and Learning column by Msgr. Daniel T. Ganshert

What a great learning experience was provided as we watched the events in Rome surrounding the death of Pope John Paul II, April 2, 2005, and the subsequent election of Pope Benedict XVI.

Who would have thought that we would come to know and appreciate so much more about our Catholic faith? We joined with millions of people around the world to reflect on the truths of Christianity and the lives of Jesus' outstanding disciples both past and present. Those were grace-filled days that we will not soon forget.

Learning experiences come and go. By cherishing the life of Pope John Paul II and the inspiring teaching of our Holy Father Benedict, we keep the experience alive. The ongoing image of the oneness they shared in Christ as long time friends and collaborators. How their lives became forever intertwined by being about Jesus Christ. Jesus, who made his dwelling place in them, of whom they became a part in the Eucharist. It is the Eucharist that makes us all one body in Christ.

Four years ago the world watched oneness and unity in the Lord unfold through the dying of one Vicar of Christ on earth and the raising of another. Called to unity, the Catholic Church was there for everyone to see. We live on; bishops, priests, and people together.

This coming Holy Week will find our priests and people gathered with Bishop Morlino. An expression of our oneness in the Lord for everyone to see at the Mass of Chrism.

May the following Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper celebrated in our many parishes, in Rome, and around the world this 2009 keep us mindful of Pope John Paul II's words, "In the humble signs of bread and wine, changed into his body and blood, Christ walks beside us as our strength and food for the journey, and enables us to become, for everyone, witnesses of hope."

On this fourth anniversary of his death, "Let faith be refreshed, let hope increase, and let charity exert itself still more" (encyclical letter Incarnationis Mysterium).

Msgr. Daniel Ganshert is the vicar general for the Diocese of Madison.