Apostolic Nuncio at UA&P Campus Procession: “Walking with Jesus”

Archbishop Charles John Brown highlighted the value of supernatural life received in the Eucharist, following the procession held at the campus of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) last January 26.

“Walking with Jesus.”

With these words, Archbishop Charles John Brown, D.D., Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, highlighted “the remarkable thing about being a Catholic” as he led a Eucharistic procession at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) last January 26.

The university resumed this annual tradition held in January, after a two-year hiatus forced by the pandemic. The celebration began with the procession of the Blessed Sacrament along the corridors and walkways of the campus. The procession path was carpeted with intricate floral designs, painstakingly prepared by various groups and sectors of the University.

It culminated in a Mass officiated by Archbishop Brown and concelebrated by Fr. Julio Dieguez, Opus Dei’s regional vicar in the Philippines, and Msgr. Carlos Estrada, the former regional vicar.

“It gives me so much joy to be with you this morning… for this beautiful experience of following Jesus, this synodal experience of what it means to be Christian: to be walking in the world on the path of our life — the camino — the way of our life, following the Lord, following Jesus, moving with him through our lives, knowing that he is close to us,” Archbishop
Brown said in his homily during Mass.

“The remarkable thing about being a Catholic is that not only are we following Jesus the way we did this morning in our pilgrimage, in our procession, but Jesus is actually in us, giving us the strength, the fortitude, the ability to follow him to walk, which is what the Eucharist is.”

He likened the abundant grace that flows from the Eucharist to “those calories… that give you biological life” and enable one to undertake physical activity.

Every Catholic, the Nuncio said, has both biological life, which he or she  shares with other living creatures, and supernatural life, thanks to “God‘s grace coming into us because of the Eucharist, nourishing us, changing us, transforming us, giving us spiritual energy to believe, to pray, to do good works.”

He explained that every Holy Communion received worthily entails “Jesus‘s coming into us and allowing us to walk spiritually, to make progress supernaturally, to prepare ourselves for the life of the world to come, for heaven.” And as with physical food, the Archbishop said, when we stop eating the Eucharist we eventually will die,

Sin “is like acid that destroys that supernatural life that is coming to us from Jesus in the Eucharist,” Archbishop Brown said. Every Catholic needs “to treasure supernatural grace” and act accordingly in every decision he or she makes.

We need to realize how important supernatural grace is, the papal envoy said. “Because, dear brother and sisters, biological life will come to an end in each and everyone of us in this chapel.”

He cited the life of the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who -- until his death last Dec. 31 -- relied on the sacraments for God’s grace that carried him “from this world into the life of the world to come, which animates even our bodies, because we believe as Catholics and we confess in the Creed: ‘We believe in the resurrection of the dead’.”

“That is why it’s so important to stay in the state of grace to receive the bread of life, to cherish this amazing gift.”

Drawing inspiration from the lives of martyrs, who chose spiritual life over physical life when forced to make that call, Archbishop Brown said: “We need to make that choice every day -- the choice of spiritual life, the choice of God’s grace, the choice to receive the bread of life.”

Floral carpet at the main entrance, one of the stations for the Eucharistic procession.