Angelus / Foto: Francesco Sforza - © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Angelus Address: On the Feast of Corpus Christi

“I Am the Bread which Came Down from Heaven . . . for the Life of the World»

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Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
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Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
Celebrated in Italy and in many other countries this Sunday is the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ – the Latin name is often used: Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi. Every Sunday the ecclesial community gathers around the Eucharist, Sacrament instituted by Jesus in the Last Supper. However, every year we have the joy of celebrating the feast dedicated to this central mystery of the faith, to express in fullness our adoration of Christ, who gives Himself as food and drink of salvation.
Today’s evangelical page, written by Saint John, is part of the discourse on the “bread of life” (Cf. 6:51-58). Jesus affirms: “I am the bread which came down from Heaven. [. . .] and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (v. 51). He wishes to say that the Father has sent him to the world as food of eternal life and, therefore, He will sacrifice Himself, His flesh. In fact on the cross Jesus gave His Body and shed His Blood. The crucified Son of Man is the true paschal Lamb, which makes one come out of sin and sustains one on the way to the Promised Land. The Eucharist is the Sacrament of His flesh given to make the world live; whoever eats this food remains in Jesus and lives for Him. To assimilate Jesus means to be in Him, to become children in the Son.
As He did with the disciples of Emmaus, in the Eucharist Jesus comes beside us, pilgrims in history, to nourish faith, hope and charity in us; to comfort us in trials; to support us in the commitment for justice and peace. This supportive presence of the Son of God is everywhere: in the cities, in the countryside, in the North and in the South of the world, in countries of Christian tradition and in those of first evangelization. And, in the Eucharist, He offers Himself as spiritual strength to help us put His commandment into practice – to love one another as He has loved us –, building hospitable communities open to the needs of all, especially of the most frail, poor and needy persons.
To be nourished by Jesus-Eucharist also means to abandon ourselves with trust to Him and to allow ourselves to be guided by Him. It is about putting Jesus in the place of our “I” Thus the free love received from Jesus in Eucharistic Communion, with the work of the Holy Spirit nourishes our love for God and for the brothers and sisters we encounter on our path every day. Nourished by Christ’s Body, we become ever more and concretely the Mystical Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the Blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the Body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one Body, for we all partake of the one bread” (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).
May the Virgin Mary, who was always united to Jesus, Bread of life, help us to rediscover the beauty of the Eucharist, to nourish us with faith to live in communion with God and with brothers.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Day after tomorrow is World Refugee Day promoted by the United Nations. The theme this year is: “With Refugees. Today More than Even We Must Be on the Side of Refugees.” This is the theme. Concrete care goes to women, men <and> children fleeing from conflicts, violence and persecutions. We also remember in prayer all those that lost their life in the sea or in extenuating trips by land. May their stories of grief and hope be able to become opportunities of fraternal encounter and true reciprocal knowledge. In fact, personal encounter with refugees dispels fear and distorted ideologies, and becomes a factor of growth in humanity, capable of making room for sentiments of openness and the building of bridges. I express my closeness to the beloved Portuguese people for the devastating fire that is affecting forests around Pedrogao Grande causing numerous victims and wounded. Let us pray in silence.
My greeting goes to all of you, Romans and pilgrims, in particular, those from the Seychelles Islands, from Seville (Spain) and from Umuarama and Toledo (Brazil). I greet the faithful of Naples, Arzano and Santa Caterina di Pedara.
A special greeting goes to the qualified representation of the Central African Republic and of the United Nations, which is in Rome these days for a meeting promoted by Sant’Egidio Community. I bear in my heart the visit I made in November 2015 to that country and I hope that, with God’s help and the good will of all, the peace process is fully re-launched and reinforced, along with necessary conditions for development.
This evening, I will celebrate Holy Mass in the courtyard of Saint John Lateran, which will be followed by a procession with the Most Holy Sacrament to Saint Mary Major. I invite all to take part, also spiritually; I am thinking in particular of cloistered communities, the sick and prisoners. Radio and television also help in this.
And next Tuesday I will go on pilgrimage to Bozzolo and Barbiana, to render homage to Father Primo Mazzolari and Father Lorenzo Milani, the two priests who offer us a message of which we are in such need today. In this case also, I thank all those, especially priests, who will accompany me with their prayer.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and good-bye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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