Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The Eucharist is "a truly great gift" and " constitutes the summit of God's saving action: the Lord Jesus, by becoming bread broken for us, pours out all of His mercy and His love on us, so as to renew our hearts, our lives and the way we relate with Him and with others". So much so, that is commonly said "to make Communion".
Continuing to illustrate the sacraments, Pope Francis spoke today of the Eucharist at the general audience, by which " we share in the mystery of the passion , death and resurrection of Christ" and "we feel this sense of belonging to the Church, the People of God , the body of God, Jesus Christ. " 25 thousand people were in St Peter's Square despite the rain - "Good morning, but its nor a good day, it's a little ' bad ', the Pope greeted them - for which the sick, who are normally in the first row in the square, were accommodated in the Paul VI and Francis greeted them first. "They are following the audience on a giant screen ," he explained to the faithful gathered in the square, at the end of the audience.
The Eucharist, "the sacrament of love is the source of every authentic journey of faith, communion and witness. What we see when we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, the Mass, allows us to perceive what we are about to experience. At the center space for the celebration is the altar which is a table covered with a tablecloth , and this makes us think of a banquet. On the table there is a cross, indicating that Christ's sacrifice is offered on that altar: He is the spiritual food that we receive, under the signs of bread and wine. Beside the table is the ambo, the place from which the Word of God is proclaimed: and this indicates that we gather there to listen to the Lord who speaks through the Scriptures , and therefore the food you receive is also His Word".
"Word and Bread become one in the Mass, as at the Last Supper, when all the words of Jesus , all the signs that he made, were condensed into the act of breaking the bread and offering the cup , ahead of the sacrifice of cross, and the words : ' Take, eat , this is my body ... Take, drink, this is my blood.' Jesus' gesture made at the Last Supper is the ultimate thanksgiving to the Father for His love, for His mercy'. Thanksgiving ' in Greek is 'Eucharist' . And that is why the sacrament is called 'Eucharist, it' is the supreme thanksgiving to the Father , who loved us enough to give us His Son, for love".
"That's why the term Eucharist sums up that gesture, that gesture of God and man together, a gesture of Jesus Christ, true God and true man. So the celebration of the Eucharist is much more than just a banquet: it is the memorial of the Passion of Jesus, the central mystery of salvation". "Memorial" is not just a memory, a simple memory, it means that every time we celebrate this sacrament we share in the mystery of the passion , death and resurrection of Christ".
"It is a great gift and this is why it is so important to go to Mass on Sundays, to go to Mass not only to pray, but to receive Communion, the bread which is the Body of Jesus Christ that saves us , forgives us , unites us to the Father. It is a good thing to do. And we go to Mass every Sunday because it is the day of the resurrection of their Lord. That is why Sunday is so important to us. And with the Eucharist we feel this sense of belonging to the Church, the people of God , the body of God, Jesus Christ. We will never fully grasp its value and wealth. Let us ask Him then, that this Sacrament continue to keep His presence alive in the Church and to shape our community in charity and communion, according to the Father's heart. We continue to do this throughout our lives, but begin doing it the day of our First communion. It is important that children be well prepared for First Communion and that every child make it, because it is the first strong, strong step of this belonging to Jesus Christ, after Baptism and Confirmation".