By Jeff Brumley
Father Wade Menezes took a packed exhibition hall at the 2019 Florida Eucharistic Congress, March 29-30, through passages from the Old and New Testaments, the lives of the saints and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He wove a message about overcoming the hopelessness of sin through the hope and power of the Eucharist and reconciliation.
Father Menezes is a member of the Fathers of Mercy, a missionary preaching religious congregation based in Auburn, Ky. And he is the host of the popular EWTN series The Crux of the Matter, The Wonders of his Mercy, as well as EWTN Global Catholic Radio’s Open Line Tuesday program.
His talk on the Eucharist and reconciliation as nourishing and saving sacraments began with a reading of Jeremiah 2:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – which was the scriptural theme of the Eucharistic Congress.
It’s a demonstration that God’s love doesn’t have to be earned, Father Menezes said.
“God wants to make you a saint right where you are,” he added.
He began to quote the writings and examples of numerous saints, including St. Catherine of Siena: “If you are what you should be, you’ll set the world ablaze.”
Make no excuses about being limited by personal sin, Father Menezes added. He gave examples of saints once locked in lifestyles of adultery, gambling and alcohol addiction, gluttony, satanism, and the occult – only to emerge into exemplary models of Christian faith.
What they shared in common, Father Menezes said, was a return to the sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation. As a result, their lives demonstrate God’s love and forgiveness for his people.
“God is more interested in our future than our past, amen?”