St. Peter's Square
Sunday, 14 June 2020
Sunday, 14 June 2020
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, in Italy and in other countries, the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ , the Corpus Domini , is celebrated . In today's second reading of the liturgy, St. Paul awakens our faith in this mystery of communion (cf. 1 Cor 10 : 16-17). He underlines two effects of the shared chalice and the broken bread: the mystical effect and the community effect .
At first the Apostle says: "Is not the cup of blessing that we bless communion with the blood of Christ? And isn't the bread that we break communion with the body of Christ? " (v. 16). These words express the mystical effector we can say the spiritual effect of the Eucharist: it concerns the union with Christ, who offers himself in the bread and wine for the salvation of all. Jesus is present in the sacrament of the Eucharist to be our nourishment, to be assimilated and become in us that renewing force that restores energy and restores desire to get back on the road, after every stop or after every fall. But this requires our assent, our willingness to let ourselves be transformed, our way of thinking and acting; otherwise the Eucharistic celebrations in which we participate are reduced to empty and formal rites. Many times someone goes to mass but because you have to go, as a social, respectful, but social act. But the mystery is another thing: it is Jesus present who comes to feed us.
The second effect is the community oneand it is expressed by Saint Paul with these words: "Since there is only one bread, we are, although many, one body" (v. 17). It is a question of the mutual communion of those who participate in the Eucharist, to the point of becoming a single body among them, just as the bread that is broken and distributed is unique. We are communities, nourished by the body and blood of Christ. Communion in the body of Christ is an effective sign of unity, of communion, of sharing. One cannot participate in the Eucharist without committing oneself to a mutual, sincere brotherhood. But the Lord knows well that our human strength alone is not enough for this. Indeed, he knows that among his disciples there will always be the temptation of rivalry, envy, prejudice, division ... We all know these things. This is also why he left us the Sacrament of his real Presence, concrete and permanent, so that, remaining united to him, we can always receive the gift of brotherly love. «Stay in my love» (Jn 15 : 9), said Jesus; and it is possible thanks to the Eucharist. Stay in friendship, in love.
This twofold fruit of the Eucharist: the first, the union with Christ and the second, the communion between those who feed on Him, continually generates and renews the Christian community. It is the Church that makes the Eucharist, but it is more fundamental that the Eucharist makes the Church , and allows it to be its mission , even before fulfilling it. This is the mystery of communion, of the Eucharist: to receive Jesus to transform us from within and to receive Jesus to make us unity and not division.
May the Holy Virgin help us to always accept with amazement and gratitude the great gift that Jesus has given us by leaving us the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters ,
I follow with great apprehension and also with pain the dramatic situation in Libya. It has been present in my prayer for the past few days. Please, I urge the international organizations and those with political and military responsibilities to relaunch with conviction and resoluteness the search for a path towards the cessation of violence, which leads to peace, stability and unity of the country. I also pray for the thousands of migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people in Libya. The health situation has aggravated their already precarious conditions, making them more vulnerable to forms of exploitation and violence. There is cruelty. I invite the international community, please, to take their condition to heart, identifying paths and providing means to ensure they have the protection they need, a dignified condition and a future of hope. Brothers and sisters, we all have responsibility for this, no one can feel dispensed. We all pray for Libya in silence.
Today marks World Blood Donor Day . It is an opportunity to stimulate society to be supportive and sensitive to those in need. I greet the volunteers present and express my appreciation to all those who perform this simple but very important act of helping others: donating blood.
I greet all of you, Roman faithful and pilgrims. I wish you, and those connected with the media , a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye.