Pope. Jesus "feeds us" to make us "a visible sign of God's mercy"

At the general audience in Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis speaks of the miracle of the loaves. "Jesus performs a miracle, but the miracle of faith, prayer, stirred by compassion and love". "While the Eucharist that we celebrate nourishes us of Christ, transforming us little by little into the body of Christ and spiritual food for our brothers". His greeting to pilgrims from the Middle East and China.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In his general audience today, Pope Francis revealed that the love of Jesus for his people and disciples "is not a vague feeling". It comes from the gift of self so that all Christians become "a visible sign of the mercy of God who does not want to leave anyone in solitude of need".

The audience, held in the Paul VI Hall, was attended by people from all over the world, among them also many from the Middle East and China, whom the Pope greeted the end.

The pontiff took his reflection from the story of the loaves (Matthew 14,13-21). "When it was evening, - he began - Jesus was concerned to feed all those tired and hungry people, and He takes care of all those who follow Him. And He wants to involve His disciples in this. In fact, He says to them: “you give them something to eat” (v. 16). And He showed them that the few loaves and fish they had — with the strength of faith and prayer –, could be shared by all those people. Jesus wrought a miracle, but it is the miracle of faith, of prayer, aroused by compassion and love. So Jesus “broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds” (v. 19). The Lord goes to meet men’s needs, but He wants to make each one of us concretely participant of His compassion”.

“Now, - he continued - we pause on Jesus’ gesture of blessing: He took “the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them” (v. 19). As can be seen, these are the same signs that Jesus carried out in the Last Supper; and they are also the same that every priest carries out when he celebrates the Holy Eucharist. The Christian community is born and reborn continually of this Eucharistic Communion. To live communion with Christ, therefore, is altogether other than remaining passive and estranged from daily life; on the contrary, it inserts us increasingly in our relation with the men and women of our time, to offer them a concrete sign of mercy and of Christ’s care. While nourishing us with Christ, little by little the Eucharist we celebrate also transforms us into the Body of Christ and spiritual food for brothers. Jesus wants to reach everyone, to bring to all the love of God. Therefore, He renders every believer a servant of mercy. Jesus saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them and He multiplied the loaves; He does the same with the Eucharist. And we believers, who receive this Eucharistic bread, are driven by Jesus to bring this service to others, with His same compassion. This is the way. The account of the multiplication of loaves and fish ends with the verification that all were satisfied and with the gathering of the left over pieces (cf. v. 20)”.

“When, with His compassion and His love, Jesus gives us a grace, He forgives us our sins, He embraces us, He loves us, He does not do things by half, but completely. As happened here, all are satisfied. Jesus fills our heart and our life with His love, with His forgiveness, with His compassion. Hence Jesus allowed His disciples to carry out His order. Thus they know the way to follow: to feed the people and keep them united; to be, that is, at the service of life and of communion. Therefore, we invoke the Lord, may He always render His Church capable of this holy service, so that every one of us is able to be an instrument of communion in our own family, at work, in the parish and in groups of memberships, a visible sign of the mercy of God, who does not want to leave anyone in solitude and in need, so that communion and peace and men’s communion with God descend among men, because this communion is life for all".

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