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novembre 2021 ONLINE

Greeting and homily of Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz

Readings: 1 Cor. 15, 1-8; J. 14, 6-14

I hearty welcome all participants of V International Forum of Catholic Action. I am glad that you initiate your meeting with Eucharist celebrated in the sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Cracov £agiewniki. Cry for mercy in our not easy world, in which you strive for elementary justice, resounded here in a peculiar way. God made use of the humble nun – St. Faustina’s service to remind that it is He who is ” rich in mercy” (Eph. 2,4). Our hope for saving our fate and the fate of the world is only in Him. 
St. Philip and St. Jacob the apostles are the today’s patrons. They also cast in their lot with the Master from Nazareth. They followed Him and committed whole their existence to the cause for which He came to the earth. The name of this cause is salvation of human beings. 
Let us, in this Holy Mass, entrust to God the Catholic Action in Poland, Europe and all over the world. Let us pray for Catholic Action activity in order that it bear blessed fruits in societies and nations, which Church is eager to serve also through its lay apostles. 
Now let us express to our Lord regret for our sins and infidelities in order that we may celebrate worthily the Sacred Mysteries.

Brothers and Sisters!

1. A while ago we heard important words of Jesus, in which He reveals his deepest identity. He speaks about unity with His Father; “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. (…). Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me” (J. 14, 9.11). Ineffable, unattainable, dwelling in inaccessible spaces God became intimate with human. He did it in unimaginable way. He became directly one of us. He sent his Son, who “by the power of the Holy Spirit became incarnate of the Virgin Mary and was made man” into the world, as we profess in Creed. Jesus Christ being the God-Man lived like a man, took pains like a man, loved like a man, suffered like a man and died like a man. Jesus had his name and had his unique face. Whoever saw this face, could see the face of God Himself. The features of this face revealed the Creator’s attitude in relation to man and the world. They were and they are features of merciful love. 
Jesus, who identified himself with His Father and our Creator and Lord, became the only guide on our pilgrimage to the Father’s house. He said of himself: ” I am the way and the truth and the life” (J 14, 6). It is He who marks the trail. It is He who shows us the goal. It is He himself who is the Companion on our way. On this way He reveals the truth about ourselves, the truth of our dignity and vocation. He is himself the living truth about God, but also about man and his final destination to life that will be unlimited. The profoundest sources of our life are in Him – in Jesus Christ himself.

2. ” Truly, truly, I say to you. Whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do”(J 14 12). We read today in those words an invitation of Jesus for us to join His works. Such was the way of His acting from the very beginning. 
He summoned disciples, formed them in his school, instructed by word and example engaging them into his mission in order to continue His work in the world. Jesus needed and still needs “fishers of man” and “shepherds.” He requires reapers and laborers to vineyard. He needs our feet and hands, our minds and hearts, so that His Good News may reach the most remote corners of the earth, wide circles of labor, science and culture, all places wherever a man lives, loves, suffers and harbors hope. 

In response to Jesus’ s invitation to cooperate in His work we find foundation of Catholic Action’s spirituality. Catholic Action is the circle of open-minded and large-hearted people who are solidary and ready to support the Church of Christ and his shepherds in proclaiming the Gospel in the present world actively. Catholic Action is the way of active love recognizing spiritual and material needs of neighbors, particularly tender to the fate of the poor living on the margin in our society. Living faith to Jesus, recognition and adopting His profound attitudes, setting the profoundest hopes on Him and conviction, that it is He, who ultimately acts in and by us, is the condition of such committal. We are instruments in His hand. Therefore disciples of Jesus engaged in Catholic Action in response to his words “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it” (J 14, 14) combine together acting with trustful prayer. He listens intently to our supplications and wishes. He is present in all our concerns and troubles, in our efforts to make the world inhabited by us more humane, and thus more God’s.

3. The Holy Father John Paul II was the intercessor for great matter of the lay apostolate. During the Great Jubilee introducing us into the third millennium of our faith in 2000, he reminded that: ” with the Council the hour of laity in the Church truly struck, and many faithful, men and women more clearly understood their Christian vocation to the apostolate.”
Addressing Church movements, associations and communities, thus also to Catholic Action, he said: ” Today more than ever, your apostolate is indispensable, if the Gospel is to be the light, salt and leaven of a new humanity. However, what does this mission entail? What does being a Christian mean today, here and now? Being a Christian has never been easy, nor is it easy today. Following Christ demands the courage of radical choices, which often means going against the stream. As witnesses to Christ you are especially called to bring the light of the Gospel to the vital nerve centers of society. You are called to be prophets of Christian hope and apostles of the One “who is and who was and who is to come,” (Rv.1, 4) the Almighty. Holiness continues to be the greater challenge for believers. Dear friends- went on John Paul II- do not be afraid to take up this challenge and be holy. Do not forget that the fruits of the apostolate depend on depth of spiritual life, on the intensity of prayer, on continual formation and on sincere adherence to the Church’s directives. (…) If you become what you should be- that is if you live Christianity without compromise- you will set the world ablaze” (see. Homily 26.Nov. 2000, nn.3-5).

4. Dear Brothers and Sisters, your International Forum of Catholic Action’s Meetings are held this year under the motto: “Bread, life, piece, freedom.” Those are the keywords for understanding our personal and also collective life. We can read them in the key and in the perspective of the gift. 
Every day we pray: “Give us today our daily bread…” We realize, that we get everything what is necessary for life from God’s hand. Psalmist says: ” The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.” (Ps.145, 15-16). Jesus Christ nourished multitudes of hungry people, but He directly emphasized, that it was a sign of much more deep reality. He became himself for us the living bread, guaranteeing eternal life. The gift of bread reminds us of fundamental solidarity in sharing it with the hungry and the poor – those who need our help. 

We should not forget, caring for terrestrial life, that eternal life , fullness of life in God’s kingdom of love is our final destination. We prepare ourselves and grow up to this gift, living not for ourselves, but making of our life a gift for neighbours an ultimately for God. 
The Risen Christ greeted disciples with words: “Peace be with you” (J. 20, 20). Peace is the God’s gift. Peace arises in heart of man reconciled to God, with brothers and with himself. We should bestow this peace upon each other in our families, communities, in our collective and political life, in our relations with other nations in Europe and other continents. 
Freedom is also a gift. First and foremost we think about the inner freedom, liberation from slavery of sin and evil. Jesus endowed us with this freedom. St. Paul wrote and encouraged us: “For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery!” (Ga. 5, 1). Christ restored our dignity of God’s children. He made us able benefit by the gift of freedom to love and serve even much more. 

5. Brothers and Sisters, I wish you fruitful debates and inspirational reflections. Let these European Meetings enrich your inner life in order that you can enrich communities and environments in which you operate. Let Catholic Action help in building the Church – living community of Lord crucified and risen from the dead. Let it bear witness of His merciful love’s power that is able to change structures and persons and support them in building our world according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Set the world ablaze with fire of God’s love, unbroken faith and constant hope.

(Remark: fragments of Gospel, Psalm and Apostolic Letters quoted according to English Standard Version)

V European continental Meeting – Kracow, 6-9 May 2010
“LIFE, BREAD, PEACE, FREEDOM”. Catholic Action Lay People in their towns for a more humane world


Readings: 1 Cor. 15, 1-8; J. 14, 6-14