ROME, JUNE 4, 2010 (Zenit.org).- All of us, priests and faithful, are nourished by the same Eucharist, says Benedict XVI.
“All of us prostrate ourselves to adore it, because present in it is our Teacher and Lord, present is the real Body of Jesus, Victim and Priest, salvation of the world,” the Pope stated Thursday evening in a homily.
The Pontiff presided at a Mass preceding the Eucharistic procession held on the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Mass was celebrated in the courtyard of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and the procession followed via Merulana and ended at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
The Holy Father focused his reflection on the “relationship between the Eucharist and the priesthood of Christ,” noting that these are the last days of the Year for Priests, which will close next week.
In the Last Supper, Benedict XVI affirmed, “Jesus transforms the bread and wine into his own Body and Blood, so that the disciples can nourish themselves from him and live in profound and real communion with him.”
“Jesus was not a priest according to the Jewish tradition,” the Pope noted.
He continued: “It is the Father who confers this priesthood on him at the very moment in which Jesus goes through the passage from his death and resurrection.
“It is not a priesthood according to the order of the Mosaic Law, but according to the order of Melchizedek, according to a prophetic order, depending only on his singular relationship with God.”
Passion and transformation
“Christ’s priesthood entails suffering,” the Pontiff stated. “Jesus really suffered, and he did so for us.”
He added that through this suffering, “through the painful passion,” and “thanks to this transformation Jesus Christ became ‘High Priest’ and can save all those who entrust themselves to him.”
<br>In the Eucharist, the Pontiff said, “Jesus anticipated his sacrifice, not a ritual sacrifice but a personal one.”
He noted, “Giving thanks and with a blessing, Jesus transformed the bread and wine.”
“It is divine love that transforms,” the Holy Father affirmed, “the love with which Jesus accepts in advance to give himself completely for us.”
He continued, “This love is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, which consecrates the bread and wine and changes their substance into the Body and the Blood of the Lord, rendering present in the Sacrament the same sacrifice that is made later in a bloody manner on the cross.”
Benedict XVI concluded that “Christ was a true and effective priest because he was full of the power of the Holy Spirit, he was the culmination of all the fullness of the love of God.”
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