HOLY MASS AND EUCHARISTIC PROCESSION
IN THE SOLEMNITY OF THE HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Parish of S. Maria Consolatrice in Casalbertone (Rome)
Sunday, June 23, 2019
The Word of God helps us today to rediscover two simple verbs, two essential verbs for everyday life: to say and to give.
To say. In the first reading, Melchizedek says: "Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, and blessed is the Most High God" (Gen 14,19-20). Melchisedek's saying is to bless. He blesses Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth will be blessed (see Gen 12: 3; Gal 3: 8). Everything starts from the blessing: the words of good generate a story of good. The same happens in the Gospel: before multiplying the loaves, Jesus blesses them: "he took the five loaves, raised his eyes to heaven, recited the blessing on them, broke them and gave them to the disciples" (Lk 9,16). The blessing makes food for a multitude of five loaves: it makes a waterfall of good flow.
Why is blessing good for you? Because it is turning the word into a gift. When you bless, you don't do something for yourself, but for others. To bless is not to say good words, it is not to use words of circumstance: no; it is to say well, to say with love. Thus did Melchizedek, spontaneously saying good of Abraham, without his having said or done anything for him. This is what Jesus did, showing the meaning of the blessing with the free distribution of bread. How many times we too have been blessed, in church or in our homes, how many times we have received words that have done us good, or a sign of the cross on the forehead ... We have become blessed on the day of Baptism, and at the end of each Mass we are blessed . The Eucharist is a school of blessing. God says well about us, his beloved children, and so encourages us to move forward. And we bless God in our assemblies (see Psalm 68:27), rediscovering the taste of praise, which frees and heals the heart. We come to Mass with the certainty of being blessed by the Lord, and we go out to bless in turn, to be channels of good in the world.
Also for us: it is important that we Pastors remember to bless God's people. Dear priests, do not be afraid to bless, bless the people of God; dear priests, go ahead with the blessing: the Lord wishes to speak well of his people, he is happy to make his affection felt for us. And only from blessed can we bless others with the same anointing of love. It is sad to see how easily the opposite is done today: he curses himself, despises himself, insults himself. Taken from too much frenzy, there is no holding and unleashing anger on everything and everyone. Often unfortunately those who cry louder and louder, those who are more angry seem to be right and to gather consensus. Let us not allow ourselves to be inflamed by arrogance, let us not be invaded by bitterness, we who eat the Bread that carries every sweetness in it. God's people love praise, they do not live by complaints; it is made for blessings, not for lamentations. Before the Eucharist, Jesus made the Bread, this humble Bread that contains the whole of the Church, we learn to bless what we have, to praise God, to bless and not to curse our past, to give good words to others.
The second verb is give. "To say" is followed by "giving", as for Abraham, who, blessed by Melchizedek, "gave him the tenth of everything" (Gen 14,20). As for Jesus who, after reciting the blessing, gave bread to be distributed, thus revealing the most beautiful meaning: bread is not just a consumer product, it is a means of sharing. In fact, surprisingly, in the story of the multiplication of the loaves we never talk of multiplying. On the contrary, the verbs used are "to break, to give, to distribute" (see Lk 9,16). In short, multiplication is not emphasized, but con-division. It is important: Jesus does not do magic, he does not transform the five loaves into five thousand and then say: "Now distribute them". No. Jesus prays, blesses those five loaves and begins to break them, trusting the Father. And those five loaves never end. This is not magic, it is trust in God and in his providence.
In the world we always try to increase profits, to increase turnover ... Yes, but what is the purpose? Is it giving or having? Sharing or accumulating? The "economy" of the Gospel multiplies sharing, nourishes, distributes, does not satisfy the voracity of a few, but gives life to the world (see Jn 6:33). Not to have, but to give is the word of Jesus.
The request that he makes to the disciples is peremptory: "You give them food" (Lk 9:13). Let's try to imagine the reasoning that the disciples will have done: "We have no bread for us and we must think of others. Why should we feed them, if they came to listen to our Master? If they haven't brought food, go home, it's their problem, or they give us money and we'll buy. " They are not wrong arguments, but they are not those of Jesus, who does not hear reasons: you give them food yourself. What we have brings fruit if we give it - this is what Jesus means -; and it doesn't matter whether it is little or a lot. The Lord does great things with our smallness, as with the five loaves. He does not perform miracles with spectacular actions, he does not have a magic wand, but he acts with humble things. That of God is a humble omnipotence, made only of love. And love does great things with little things. The Eucharist teaches us this: there is God enclosed in a piece of bread. Simple, essential, bread broken and shared, the Eucharist we receive transmits to us the mentality of God. And it leads us to give ourselves to others the antidote against "I am sorry, but it does not concern me", against the "I do not have time, I can't, it's not my business ”. Against looking the other side.
In our city hungry for love and care, which suffers from degradation and abandonment, in front of so many lonely elderly people, families in difficulty, young people struggling to earn their bread and feed their dreams, the Lord tells you: "You yourself give them food ”. And you can answer: "I have little, I am not capable for these things". It is not true, your little is so much in the eyes of Jesus if you do not keep it for yourself, if you put it into play. You too, get in the game. And you are not alone: you have the Eucharist, the Bread of the journey, the Bread of Jesus. Also tonight we will be nourished by his given Body. If we welcome it with the heart, this Bread will unleash in us the power of love: we will feel blessed and loved, and we will want to bless and love, starting from here, from our city, from the roads that we will travel tonight. The Lord comes on our roads to say good, to say good about us and to give us courage, to give courage to us. He also asks us to be a blessing and a gift.
FULL TEXT + Image shared from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation