Not only does a Christian meet Christ in the Eucharist, but also in his daily life. This was a reflection made by Pope Francis during his weekly Angelus address this Sunday. Speaking to crowds in a sunny Saint Peter’s Square this morning, the Pope focused on the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – or Corpus Christi – celebrated in many parishes this Sunday.
Recalling today’s Gospel, Francis noted how St. Mark tells of Christ instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper. That evening, Jesus said whoever eats this bread will live forever and offers the Apostles His body, the 78-year-old Jesuit Pontiff recalled.
“With this gesture, and with these words, He gives bread a function that is no longer simply that of simple physical nourishment, but to make this His person in the midst of the community of believers,” Francis said.
“It encourages us,” he said, “to become in our life, imitators of what we celebrate in the liturgy.”
When we take and eat the Bread, Francis said, “we are being associated with the life of Jesus, we enter into communion with Him, we are committed to achieve communion among ourselves, to transform our life as a gift, especially to the poorest.”
“Today’s Feast evokes this message of solidarity and encourages us to embrace the intimate call to conversion and to serve, to love and forgiveness.”
Not only is the Eucharist a source of love for the life of the Church, he noted, but also “a school of charity and solidarity. Those who eat the Bread of Christ can not remain indifferent before those who do not have daily bread. And today, we know, is a growing problem.”
The feast of Corpus Christi, the Holy Father prayed, should inspire us to promote a more welcoming and supportive society, so we can better witness God’s infinite love.
Following the recitation of the midday prayer, the Pope recalled his Apostolic Visit yesterday to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying he went there “as a pilgrim of peace and hope.”
For centuries, Sarajevo has been a place of coexistence between peoples and religions, as to be called the “Jerusalem of the West,” he noted, but “in the recent past, it has become a symbol of the destruction of war.”
A reason for his visit, Francis said, was to “encourage this path of peaceful coexistence between different peoples; a strenuous walk, difficult, but possible! And they are doing well.”
“I renew my gratitude to the authorities and all the citizens for the warm welcome. I thank the dear Catholic community, to which I wanted to bring the love of the universal Church and in particular I thank also all the faithful: Orthodox, Muslims, Jews and those of other religious minorities. I appreciate the commitment to collaboration and solidarity between these people who belong to different religions, urging all to continue the work of spiritual and moral reconstruction of society. They work together as true brothers. May the Lord bless Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
The Pontiff also mentioned that this Friday is the World Day Against Child Labor.
“Many children in the world do not have the freedom to play, to go to school, and end up being exploited as cheap labor,” he said, urging the international community to continue promoting active recognition of children’s rights.
The Holy Father concluded, wishing those gathered a good Sunday, good lunch, and asking them to pray for him.