POPE FRANCIS at the ANGELUS
St. Peter's Square - Sunday, 6 June 2021
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, in Italy and in other countries, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ is celebrated. The Gospel presents us with the account of the Last Supper ( Mk 14: 12-16.22-26). The Lord's words and gestures touch our hearts: He takes the bread in his hands, pronounces the blessing, breaks it and hands it to the disciples, saying: "Take, this is my body" (v. 22).
It is thus, with simplicity, that Jesus gives us the greatest sacrament. His is a humble gesture of gift, a gesture of sharing. At the height of his life, he does not distribute bread in abundance to feed the crowds, but breaks himself at the Passover meal with the disciples. In this way Jesus shows us that the goal of life lies in giving oneself, that the greatest thing is to serve. And today we find the greatness of God in a piece of Bread, in a fragility that overflows with love, overflows with sharing. Fragility is the very word I would like to emphasize. Jesus becomes fragile like bread that breaks and crumbles. But precisely there lies its strength, in its fragility. In the Eucharist , fragility is strength: strength of love that becomes small in order to be accepted and not feared; strength of love that breaks and divides to nourish and give life; strength of love that fragments to bring all of us together in unity.
And there is another strength that stands out in the fragility of the Eucharist: the strength to love those who make mistakes. It is on the night when he is betrayed that Jesus gives us the Bread of life. He gives us the greatest gift as he feels the deepest abyss in his heart: the disciple who eats with him, who dips the morsel in the same dish, is betraying him. And betrayal is the greatest pain for those who love. And what does Jesus do? It reacts to evil with greater good. To Judas' "no" he answers with the "yes" of mercy. He does not punish the sinner, but gives his life for him, pays for him. When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus does the same with us: he knows us, he knows that we are sinners , he knows we are so wrong, but he does not give up joining his life with ours. He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the reward of the saints, no, but the Bread of sinners . This is why he exhorts us: “Do not be afraid! Take and eat ” .
Every time we receive the Bread of life, Jesus comes to give a new meaning to our frailties. He reminds us that in his eyes we are more precious than we think. He tells us that he is happy if we share our frailties with him. He repeats to us that his mercy is not afraid of our miseries. The mercy of Jesus is not afraid of our miseries. And above all it heals us with love from those frailties that we cannot heal by ourselves. What frailties? We think. That of feeling resentful towards those who have hurt us - from this alone we cannot heal - ; that of distancing ourselves from others and isolating ourselves - from that alone we cannot heal -; that of weeping over ourselves and complaining without finding peace; even from this, we alone cannot heal. It is he who heals us with his presence, with his bread, with the Eucharist. The Eucharist is an effective medicine against these closures. Indeed, the Bread of Life heals rigidities and transforms them into docility.
The Eucharist heals because it unites with Jesus: it makes us assimilate his way of life, his ability to break and give himself to the brothers, to respond to evil with good. It gives us the courage to come out of ourselves and to bend down with love towards the frailties of others. As God does with us. This is the logic of the Eucharist: we receive Jesus who loves us and heals our frailties in order to love others and help them in their frailties. And this, throughout life. Today in the Liturgy of the Hours we have prayed a hymn: four verses that are the summary of the whole life of Jesus. And thus they tell us that when Jesus was born, he became a traveling companion in life. Then, in the supper it is given as food. Then, on the cross, in his death, he made a price: he paid for us. And now, reigning in Heaven is our prize,Hymn of the praises of Corpus Domini Verbum Supernum Prodiens ].
May the Holy Virgin, in whom God became flesh, help us to welcome the gift of the Eucharist with a grateful heart and also to make our life a gift. May the Eucharist make us a gift for everyone else.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters ,
I follow with pain the news coming from Canada about the shocking discovery of the remains of 215 children, pupils of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, in the province of British Columbia. I join the Canadian bishops and the entire Catholic Church in Canada in expressing my closeness to the Canadian people, traumatized by the shocking news. The sad discovery further raises awareness of the pains and sufferings of the past. May the political and religious authorities of Canada continue to collaborate with determination to shed light on that sad story and to humbly commit themselves to a path of reconciliation and healing.
These difficult moments represent a strong appeal for all of us, to move away from the colonizing model, and also from today's ideological colonizations, and walk side by side in dialogue, in mutual respect and in the recognition of the rights and cultural values of all the daughters. and the children of Canada.
We entrust to the Lord the souls of all the deceased children in residential school in Canada and pray for Canadian indigenous families and communities in pain. Let us pray in silence.I wish to assure my prayers for the victims of the massacre carried out on the night between Friday and Saturday in a small town in Burkina Faso. I am close to my family and to the entire Burkinabé people who are suffering greatly from these repeated attacks. Africa needs peace and not violence!
Today in Chiavenna, in the Diocese of Como, Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, of the Daughters of the Cross, is beatified, killed 21 years ago by three girls influenced by a satanic sect. Cruelty. She who loved young people more than anything, and loved and forgiven those same girls who are prisoners of evil, leaves us her program of life: to do every little thing with faith, love and enthusiasm. May the Lord give all of us faith, love and enthusiasm. A round of applause for the new blessed!
The day after tomorrow, Tuesday 8 June, at 13.00, International Catholic Action invites you to dedicate a minute to peace, each according to their own religious tradition. Let us pray in particular for the Holy Land and for Myanmar.
I cordially greet all of you from Rome, Italy and other countries. In particular, I greet the boys of the Progetto Contatto in Turin and the Devotees Group of the Madonna dei Miracoli of Corbetta, the families of Cerignola and the National Ambulanti Association, with numerous workers from the fairs and street artists. Thank you very much for the gifts you have brought. And I also greet the Salento people from southern Puglia who are dancing the pizzica there! Well done! I wish everyone a happy Sunday.
Please don't forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!