Yesterday, Pope Francis presided over the Mass for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi. The Mass, which took place in the square in front of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, was followed by a Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. The Holy Father led the procession on foot to the Papal Basilica.
During his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, focusing particularly on Christ’s words to the apostles: “You give them something to eat.” The Holy Father said that Jesus’ words bring about three themes: “discipleship, communion, and sharing.”
Pope Francis reminded the faithful of what called people to listen to Christ, who spoke with “the authority of someone who is genuine and consistent, and invited to follow Jesus in the Eucharist.
“Tonight we are the crowd of the Gospel, we seek to follow Jesus to listen to him, to enter into communion with him in the Eucharist, to accompany him and so that he may accompany us,” the Pope said. “Let us ask ourselves: how do I follow I Jesus? Jesus speaks in silence in the mystery of the Eucharist and each time reminds us that following him means coming out of ourselves and making our life not our own, but a gift to him and to the others.”
The disciples impulse to dismiss the crowd upon realizing the impossibility of feeding them, the Holy Father continued, is a temptation that Christians have, that of “Every man for himself.”
“How often do we Christians have this temptation! We do not care about other's needs, and dismiss them with a pitiful: "May God help you", or with a not so pitiful: "Good luck", and if I don't see you anymore [...],” the Pope said.
“But Jesus' solution goes in another direction, one that surprises his disciples: ‘You yourselves give them something to eat.’ But how can we feed a multitude? ‘We only have five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people». But Jesus is not discouraged: he asks the disciples to make the people sit in communities of fifty people, raises his eyes to heaven, recites the blessing, breaks the loaves and gives them to the disciples to distribute them.”
“It is a moment of profound communion: the crowd, quenched by the word of the Lord, is now nourished by his bread of life,” Pope Francis continued. “This evening, we too are around the Lord's table, the table of the Eucharistic sacrifice, in which he gives us once again his body, he makes present the one sacrifice of the cross.”
Pope Francis went on to say that the Eucharist is a sacrament of communion, which allows one to come out from one’s individualism and “live together our discipleship.”
Concluding his homily, the Holy Father drew from the example of the apostles sharing all that they had to feed the multitude, which were five loaves and two fishes, stating that Christ himself gave his Body and Blood as a gift to all.
In the Eucharist, the Holy Father said, “the Lord makes us travel his path, that of service, of sharing, of gift, and what little we have, what little we are, if shared, becomes wealth, because the power of God, which is that of love, descends into our poverty to transform it.
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On ZENIT’s web page:
For the full text of the Holy Father’s homily, go to: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-homily-for-the-solemnity-of-corpus-christi