Pope urges respect for the right to life in Myanmar amid torched homes and places of worship
The pontiff makes another appeal during the Angelus after Myanmar’s military latest violence. On the feast day of Corpus Christi, Francis urged the faithful not to limit the Eucharist “to a vague, distant dimension, perhaps bright and perfumed with incense, but rather distant from the restrictions of everyday life.” He also mentioned that next Wednesday, the World Meeting of Families starts in Rome and the dioceses.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis issued an appeal about Myanmar, saying that, “human dignity and the right to life [ought to] be respected” in that country. He made his plea at the end of the Angelus prayer, recited from his window in front of the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square
Echoing the latest tragic news from that country, Francis noted that, “Again from Myanmar comes the cry of pain of so many people who lack basic humanitarian assistance and who are forced to leave their homes that have been burnt down and to flee violence.”
Thus, “I join the appeal of the bishops of that beloved land, that the international community does not forget the Burmese people, that human dignity and the right to life be respected, as well as places of worship, hospitals and schools.”
The pope gave a special blessing to the Myanmar community in Italy, which was represented today in St Peter's Square.
Before this appeal, in introducing the Marian prayer, Francis focused on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which is celebrated today in Italy and elsewhere.
“In the Eucharist,” Francis said, “everyone can experience this loving and concrete attention of the Lord. Those who receive the Body and Blood of Christ with faith not only eat, but are satisfied.”
In the passage from the Gospel of Luke for today’s liturgy, “The miracle of the loaves and fish does not happen in a spectacular way, but almost secretly, like the wedding at Cana – the bread increases as it passes from hand to hand. And as the crowd eats, they realize that Jesus is taking care of everything. This is the Lord present in the Eucharist. He calls us to be citizens of Heaven, but at the same time he takes into account the journey we have to face here on earth.”
“Sometimes,” the Pope explained, “there is the risk of confining the Eucharist to a vague, distant dimension, perhaps bright and perfumed with incense, but rather distant from the restrictions of everyday life. In reality, the Lord takes all our needs to heart, beginning with the most basic.”
Indeed, “We can evaluate our Eucharistic adoration when we take care of our neighbour like Jesus does. There is hunger for food around us, but also of companionship; there is hunger for consolation, friendship, good humour; there is hunger for attention, there is hunger to be evangelized.”
The Gospel tells us that the crowd was also satisfied by Jesus. “We certainly need to nourish ourselves, but we also need to be satisfied, to know that the nourishment is given to us out of love. In the Body and Blood of Christ, we find his presence, his life given for each of us. He not only gives us help to go forward, but he gives us himself – he makes himself our traveling companion, he enters into our affairs, he visits us when we are lonely, giving us back a sense of enthusiasm.”
At the end of the Angelus, the pontiff spoke about members of the Dominican family, killed in hatred of the faith during a wave of religious persecution during Spain’s civil war. Their beatification took place yesterday in that country. For Francis, “Their witness of union to Christ and forgiveness for their killers show us the way to holiness and encourage us to make their lives an offering of love to God and their brothers and sisters.”
Francis also spoke of the World Meeting of Families, scheduled to start next Wednesday in Rome and in the dioceses, thanking couples who will offer their testimony on how family life can be the way to holiness.
Lastly, he said: “let us not forget the suffering of the Ukrainian people at this moment, a people who are suffering. I would like you all to keep in mind a question: What am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Do I pray? Am I doing something? Am I trying to understand? What am I doing today for the Ukrainian people? Each one of you, find an answer in your own heart.”