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Our culture needs to hear the good news of a true, authentic ‘feminism’ — one rooted in our beautiful Catholic tradition.
New evangelization needs Eucharistic people
The Los Angeles Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (ACCW) celebrated their 63rd Conference themed “Sursum Corda, Lift Up Your Hearts”. The speaker was their new Archbishop José Gomez who for the first time was addressing the enthusiastic, capacity filled audience but meant also for the more than 2 million women he now shepherds. We bring you his message as we think it is meaningful for all Catholic women.
In his opening remarks, Archbishop Gomez shared that he was initially apprehensive when he first heard he would be leading the largest archdiocese in the U.S. Since his arrival here, however, he said he has witnessed the beauty of all the people in the archdiocese and their strong faith.
“This is not what people are expecting from Los Angeles,” said Archbishop Gomez. “They are expecting movie stars and the Los Angeles Lakers and all that shiny stuff that we are supposed to be, but I think what is most important for all of us is the fact that we are men and women of faith.”
He emphasized that the ACCW has an important role to play in the new evangelization as “our culture needs to hear the good news of a true, authentic ‘feminism’ — one rooted in our beautiful Catholic tradition.
“My hope is that all of us can work together, as friends of Jesus, to share our faith in him and to build his Kingdom, as a city of love and truth,” said Archbishop Gomez. “Because to be friends with Jesus Christ, to do the work of the new evangelization, we need to be a ‘Eucharistic people.’ That means being a people who live — by the Eucharist and for the Eucharist — with our hearts lifted up to the Lord.”
He added that he is looking forward to the new translation of the Mass, effective the first Sunday of Advent, saying it will help parishioners rediscover the experience of reverence and the celebration of the sacred mysteries.
“This new translation offers us a special moment of grace,” said the archbishop. “We have a new opportunity to really reflect on the meaning of our worship — on what happens in the Mass; on what we do when we celebrate the Eucharist, and why.
“In the Mass, we join our personal sacrifices to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We unite ourselves to his own offering of his Body and Blood on the altar and on the cross. We ‘lift up our hearts’ and present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God — offering him all our prayers and work, all our trials and sufferings.
“This is the meaning of the Mass, my sisters and brothers,” he explained. “We are called to make our lives a ‘Eucharist,’ a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, just as Jesus Christ made himself a living sacrifice on the cross.”
“We are called to live, as Eucharistic people. We are called to live our lives beautifully, to present our lives as living sacrifices to God, to lift up our hearts and to offer everything we do as a spiritual sacrifice of praise.”
During the Mass Archbishop Gomez spoke about the importance of having an attitude of service in our Christian lives.
“It would be easy to say ‘I love God’ and do nothing for anybody else. The challenge for us, the way that we go to heaven, is by loving God and others. We are called, each one of us, to work with the grace God gives us.
“We have to allow our lives to be used in God’s service — that’s what we all try to do,” he continued. “But, this Eucharist should be a moment for us once again to ask for the grace of real charity to love God and one another.”