Pope Francis is affirming that to truly be satisfied, only one type of food is required: that of the Lord.
In his Corpus Christi homily Thursday evening in the courtyard of St. John Lateran, Pope Francis spoke about what the faithful must “eat” and must avoid in order to be spiritually nourished.
In the Eucharist, the Pope said, the Lord communicates “a love so great that He feeds us with Himself,” with a “selfless love, always available to every hungry person in need,” which gives renewed strength. “To live and experience the faith,” means allowing the Lord to “feed you,” Francis reflected.
He cautioned against trying to nourish oneself with material things, which only give a facade of satisfying, but do not. The Pope warned against numerous “food offerings that are not from the Lord,” such as “money”, “success”, “pride” and ‘”vanity.”
These material goods give the false appearance of satisfaction, but only “corrupt,” he noted.
Rather, for our spirit and growth, the faithful need to receive “the reality that does not perish: the gifts of God, his Word and his Body,” he said.
Upon completion of the Mass, thousands of faithful participated in the traditional Eucharistic Procession. They walked along Via Merulana to the Marian basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Pope, as was announced earlier Thursday, decided not to walk this year, but instead traveled by covered car to the Piazza of Santa Maria Maggiore, where he closed the procession by giving Benediction.
Some faithful spoke to ZENIT about Francis’ decision not to walk the Eucharistic Procession. Some Italian faithful said that although they enjoyed when Francis walked in the procession last year, they respected his decision not to do so, adding it is important “he knows his limits.”
A priest from Mexico, who has been living in Rome for more than 20 years, told ZENIT that it was “a true act of humility.” He added that Francis, “is just like any other faithful, as he is following the Lord the best he can. If he is not in the position to follow him on foot, he will do so by car.” He reflected on the strong example Pope Francis sets for priests.