States Dinner Remarks
Archbishop of Quebec
Primate of Canada Denver, Colorado, August 2, 2011
So That The World May Know New Hope
Bonsoir! Salutations chaleureuses de Québec et du Canada! I must say it is very impressive for me to be here with you for the first time.
In a few days, on August 6th, the Church will celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Gospel reminds us that « Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves, and he was transfigured before them… » (Mt 17:1).
Well this year, the Lord has led us up a high mountain, to the Mile High City, Denver, Colorado, for a very special experience, hopefully, a transfigurating experience. In the Bible, many very special encounters with the Lord happen on hills or mountains. I truly hope and pray that this 129th Supreme Convention will be an uplifting experience, a true encounter with the Living God. An encounter with the Lord, a profound and lasting relationship that develops into discipleship, is an inevitable step towards becoming effective witnesses in today’s world.
“So That The World May Know New Hope,” we must first ourselves be filled with the Lord’s presence and guided by His Holy Spirit. After all, our mission leads us to preach Jesus Christ, not preach ourselves, to share hope by loving all those we meet, especially our brothers and sisters in need of assistance.
Brother Knights of Columbus, you are a true inspiration to so many people in your parishes and hometowns and cities. Your untiring commitment to serve and to love through your actions, your love of human life is a very positive witness in a world that truly needs your presence and your faith. I am very grateful for the more than 100,000 Knights who work in the Province of Quebec, and the thousands that are present in the Archdiocese of Quebec. I know the Church can always count on you to tackle the challenges before us. Thank you!
Finally, another word about the city of Denver. I discovered that this city was founded as a gold mining town in 1858. How amazing! We are sitting on gold! Not just the gold that can be found underground, but the treasure that is our faith in Jesus Christ. We Christians are sitting on gold, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that is Good News for today’s world. May the Lord continue to help us to discover the Gospel and to share this Good News with so many of our brothers and sisters that have not yet heard it, and have not discovered that Jesus is the “Way, the Truth and the Life.” We cannot just contemplate this treasure and keep it for ourselves. It is every day more urgent to learn to evangelize “So That The World May Know New Hope”.
Pope Benedict XVI, in establishing the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization wrote: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Likewise, at the root of all evangelization lies not a human plan of expansion, but rather the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has wished to give us, making us sharers in his own life. (Apostolic Letter in the Form of Motu Proprio, Ubicumque et Semper, September 21, 2010)
In conclusion, I would like to repeat to you the words Jesus addressed to his disciples after the Transfiguration, before they came down from the mountain to continue with their daily lives. “Jesus came and touched them saying, ‘Get up and do not be afraid’” (Mt 17:7). As they came down, Jesus and the disciples found so many men and women waiting for them, hungering for the Word and healing. Even as we share in this wonderful Convention, I’m sure in your hearts so many of your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members also know the pangs of hunger for love and peace, justice, hope and solidarity. “Do not be afraid!” Go out to share what you have seen and heard, go out to witness the great love of your life: Jesus Christ!
May this Convention fill your hearts with courage and audacity you need to continue to fulfill your mission “So That The World May Know New Hope”.