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  • » 06/18/2017, 20.16

    VATICAN

    Pope: The Eucharist is the sacrament that heals our memory, wounded by a frantic life



    Pope Francis celebrated the Corpus Domini Mass this Sunday following the Italian, not the Vatican liturgical calendar. Today, if we leave “our memories behind [. . .] living only for the moment, we risk remaining ever on the surface of things”. The Eucharist is a “living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love”. It “is not a sacrament ‘for me’; it is the sacrament of the many, who form one body”. The procession made its way from St John Lateran to Saint Mary Major. The canopy with the ostensory was followed by the "holy faithful people of God".

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Eucharist “is the sacrament of memory, reminding us, in a real and tangible way, of the story of God’s love for us.  [. . .] In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life,” said Pope Francis today as he celebrated Mass at the Roman Basilica of St John Lateran on the Solemnity of the Corpus Domini (the holy body and blood of Christ).

    Traditionally, the Solemnity is celebrated on the second Thursday after Pentecost. However, in Italy and in other countries where it is not a statutory holiday, it is celebrated the Sunday that follows. Hundreds of children who received their First Communion this year took part in the Mass.

    The Holy Father cited the theme of remembrance several times in his homily. “[R]emembering all that the Lord has done for us is the foundation of our own personal history of salvation. Remembrance is essential for faith, as water is for a plant. A plant without water cannot stay alive and bear fruit. Nor can faith, unless it drinks deeply of the memory of all that the Lord has done for us.   

    “Yet nowadays, this singular ability that the Lord has given us is considerably weakened. Amid so much frantic activity, many people and events seem to pass in a whirl. We quickly turn the page, looking for novelty while unable to retain memories. Leaving our memories behind and living only for the moment, we risk remaining ever on the surface of things, constantly in flux, without going deeper, without the broader vision that reminds us who we are and where we are going.  In this way, our life grows fragmented, and dulled within. 

    “Yet today’s Solemnity reminds us that in our fragmented lives, the Lord comes to meet us with a loving ‘fragility’, which is the Eucharist. In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life. The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love. There, “[Christ’s] sufferings are remembered” (II Vespers, antiphon for the Magnificat) and we recall God’s love for us, which gives us strength and support on our journey.

    “This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love. Anamnestic and mimetic memory. The Eucharist is flavoured with Jesus’ words and deeds, the taste of his Passion, the fragrance of his Spirit. When we receive it, our hearts are overcome with the certainty of Jesus’ love. In saying this, I think in particular of you boys and girls, who recently received First Holy Communion, and are here today in great numbers.  

    “The Eucharist gives us a grateful memory, because it makes us see that we are the Father’s children, whom he loves and nourishes. It gives us a free memory, because Jesus’ love and forgiveness heal the wounds of the past, soothe our remembrance of wrongs experienced and inflicted. It gives us a patient memory, because amid all our troubles we know that the Spirit of Jesus remains in us. The Eucharist encourages us: even on the roughest road, we are not alone; the Lord does not forget us and whenever we turn to him, he restores us with his love. “

    Finally, “The Eucharist also reminds us that we are not isolated individuals, but one body. As the people in the desert gathered the manna that fell from heaven and shared it in their families (cf. Ex 16), so Jesus, the Bread come down from Heaven, calls us together to receive him and to share him with one another. The Eucharist is not a sacrament ‘for me’; it is the sacrament of the many, who form one body. Saint Paul reminded us of this: ‘Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread’ (1 Cor 10:17). The Eucharist is the sacrament of unity. Whoever receives it cannot fail to be a builder of unity, because building unity has become part of his or her ‘spiritual DNA’.

    “May this Bread of unity heal our ambition to lord it over others, to greedily hoard things for ourselves, to foment discord and criticism. May it awaken in us the joy of living in love, without rivalry, jealousy or mean-spirited gossip.

    After the final prayer of the Mass, a long procession made its way to Saint Mary Major. Representatives of the Roman confraternities led the way carrying coloured banners, followed by the members of the clergy and seminarians, canons and cardinals, then the canopy with the ostensory placed on a golden aedicule surrounded by flowers, carried by eight gentlemen. The pope referred to the faithful who followed as "the holy people of God." Along the path people chanted traditional songs and some guides read passages from the gospel or from saints devoted of the Eucharist.

    When the procession with the canopy reached the parvis of Saint Mary Major, Pope Francis – who did not take part in the procession but was driven because of mobility problems – blessed all those present with the ostensory in three different directions.

    At the end, in front of the icon of Maria Salus Populi Romani, everyone sang Salve Regina.

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    See also

    13/12/2015 VATICAN
    Pope at St. John Lateran: A time of great forgiveness begins. Joy, despite "great oppression and violence"
    Pope Francis opens Holy Door in the Cathedral of Rome, at the very same moment as cathedrals around the world. "We cannot let ourselves be overcome by fatigue" or "sadness" when faced with the "multiple forms of violence that wound our humanity". Do works of justice and "look to the needs of those in need”. Christians are called to a "more radical commitment": to "be an instrument of mercy", to "witness a love that goes beyond justice, a love that knows no bounds."

    07/04/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: Though sinners, we are not just numbers for God, we are what is most dear to Him
    On Divine Mercy Sunday, John Paul II, Pope Francis celebrates the installation Mass as Bishop of Rome in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. From now on the square in front of the Vicariate will be known as "John Paul II Square". The "patient mercy of God" towards Thomas, Peter, the disciples of Emmaus, the prodigal son. The "style of God" is patience. The "courage to return to Him .. whatever the mistake, whatever the sin in our lives." Welcoming the sacraments with faith.

    30/05/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: solidarity is placing all that we have at God and neighbor’s disposal, to follow Jesus
    Celebrating the Mass for Corpus Domini, Francis warns against the temptation to not take upon ourselves the needs of others, "dismissing them with a pitiful: 'God help you.' But Jesus’ solution goes in another direction, he "feeds the crowd that had come to hear him. "In the Eucharist makes us follow His path, that of service, of sharing, of giving – and what little we have, what little we are, if shared, becomes wealth, because the power of God, which is that of love, descends into our poverty to transform it".

    23/05/2008 VATICAN
    The Eucharist celebrates the deepest revolution of human history
    Benedict XVI celebrates Corpus Domini with a Mass in St John Lateran ending in a procession and a Eucharistic blessing on the parvis of Saint Mary Major. The Eucharist celebrates the unity in Christ of people of all ages, social conditions and opinions. Christ helps us get up from out paralyses and gives direction to our “progress”. Worship frees us from the slavery of earthly powers, prostrating ourselves before the One who first prostrated himself out of love for us.

    13/04/2006 VATICAN
    Washing of the feet embodies the love of Jesus that purifies man
    God's love knows no bounds but can be refused as did Judas who valued Jesus in terms of power and success and for whom only power and success were real and love did not count.



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