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Christ the King Reigns

1/1/2005

  by Bishop Thomas V. Daily, supreme chaplain

‘¡Jesús está presente!’ - ‘Jesus is present!’ were the words shouted by participants in the the Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico

In this month's column I will share with you some reflections based on my participation in the 48th International Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, last October.

I have attended several previous international eucharistic congresses, but even I was not prepared for the outpouring of devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist that I witnessed in Guadalajara. The newspapers reported that 3 million people attended the opening Mass. I saw with my own eyes the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the streets of Guadalajara for the nighttime eucharistic procession.

When Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament came by, escorted by hundreds of priests and bishops and led by Fourth Degree Knights, the people shouted, "¡Jesús está presente! ¡Jesús está presente!" or "Jesus is present! Jesus is present!" Indeed, Jesus was present, whole and entire, living and true, for the adoration and loving appreciation of his people in a beautiful monstrance decorated with flowers and with lights all around it.

In quiet moments later, I reflected on what we know of the many thousands of Mexican Catholics — including many brother Knights — who were martyred for the faith during the persecution of the Church in Mexico in the 1920s and 1930s. Dedicated to "Cristo Rey" (Christ the King), many involved in the Cristeros movement were executed or hanged. On their lips and in their hearts as they faced their fate were these words: "¡Viva Cristo Rey! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!" "Long live Christ the King! Long live the Virgin of Guadalupe!"

The same blood that ran through the veins of these saints and martyrs runs through the veins of the faithful in Mexico today. I believe it also runs through the veins of you, my brother Knights, and your families.

The special Year of the Eucharist now under way is an opportunity for unparalleled graces, spiritual blessings and heroic witness to our belief that "!Jesús está presente!" Jesus is present — yesterday, today and always.