Pope Francis: The Eucharist Keeps Us In Tune with the Heart of Christ

Reflects on the Mystery of the Body and Blood of Jesus During Angelus Address

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To nourish ourselves with the Body and Blood of Christ means «being in tune with the heart of Christ, to assimilate His choices, His thoughts, His behavior.»

These were the words of Pope Francis during his Sunday Angelus address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square today.

The Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel of St. John, in which Christ tells the crowd that «whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.»

This statement, the Pope said, is proclaimed in the style of the prophets in order to provoke «questions and in the end, to make a decision.»

«The first of the questions is: What does «eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood» mean? Is it only an image, a way of saying, a symbol, or does it indicate something real?» he asked.

«To answer this, one needs to guess what is happening in Jesus’ heart while he breaks the bread for the hungry crowd. Knowing that He must die on the cross for us, Jesus identifies Himself with that broken and shared bread, and that becomes for Him the «sign» of the Sacrifice that awaits Him. This process culminates in the Last Supper, where the bread and wine truly become His Body and His Blood.»

The Jesuit Pope explained that it is in the Eucharist where Jesus invites Christians to become one with Him. However, this assimilation can only occur with an adherence to the faith.

«At times, during the Holy Mass, it may happen to feel this objection: ‘What is the purpose of the Mass? I go in Church when I feel like it, and I pray better alone.’ But the Eucharist is not a private prayer or a beautiful spiritual experience, it is not a simple commemoration of what Jesus has done in the Last Supper,» he said.

«The Eucharist is Jesus who gives Himself entirely to us. By nourishing ourselves from Him and remaining in Him through the Eucharistic Communion, if we do it with faith, it transforms our life; it transforms it into a gift to God and a gift to our brothers.»

The 78 year old Pontiff went on to say that by nourishing ourselves with the Eucharist, we become «in tune with the heart of Christ and assimilate His choices, thoughts and behavior.»

Concluding his address, Pope Francis invoked the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that She «obtains for us the grace of nourishing ourselves always with faith in Jesus, the Bread of Life.» 

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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