Sunday´s Meaning Is Lost Without the Eucharist, Says Pope

At Angelus Address on Solemnity of Corpus Christi

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 2, 2002 ( Rediscovering the meaning of Sunday and of the Eucharist are urgent priorities for the Church, says John Paul II.

On the solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Pope addressed several thousand pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square to pray the midday Angelus. He explained from the window of his study that «the Eucharist is the beating center of the community,» and «its most precious treasure: Christ really present under the species of consecrated bread and wine.»

Because of this John Paul II said, «I again proposed a reappraisal of Sunday and, in it, of the eucharistic celebration.» He cited the recommendations in his 2001 apostolic letter «Novo Millennio Ineunte.»

«From the very beginning, from the early community of Jerusalem, Christians gathered on the day of the Lord to renew in the Holy Mass the memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. Sunday is the day of rest and praise, but its real meaning is lost without the Eucharist,» the Pontiff added.

«Faith is necessary, or rather faith vivified by love is necessary, to explore the fascinating depth of this presence of Christ under the ´signs´ of bread and wine,» said the Pope, who plans to write an encyclical on the Eucharist.

«Only the one who believes and loves can understand something of the ineffable mystery, thanks to which God comes close to our littleness, seeks our infirmity, reveals himself for what he is, infinite saving love,» the Holy Father added.

Before bidding the pilgrims farewell, the Holy Father, who sounded tired but wished to remain with the faithful, greeted groups from Ukraine, Spain and Italy, and reminded them that the month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

«May each one be able to receive constant help from that inexhaustible source of grace to grow in love and in generous service to one´s neighbor,» he concluded.

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