Pope: at the Last Supper, Jesus shows our life's goal lies in self-giving
In the Eucharist, fragility is strength: the strength of love that becomes small in order to be accepted and not feared; power of love that breaks and divides to nourish and give life; strength of love that is fragmented to bring us together in unity. Pray for peace in the Holy Land and in Myanmar.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The aim of life lies in self-giving" and "the greatest thing is to serve". These are the teachings that Jesus gave at the Last Supper, when he broke himself for the disciples, underlined by Pope Francis on the day on which Corpus Domini is celebrated in many countries, as he himself recalled at today's Angelus.
In the reflections addressed to a few thousand people present in St. Peter's Square - a number that tends to increase with the ebbing of the pandemic - Francis also expressed "closeness to the Canadian people" for the "sad story of the discovery of dead children near the Kamloops Indian Residential School, in British Columbia ".
In this regard, he spoke of "awareness of the pains and sufferings of the past" on which to shed light and "move away from the colonizing model and also from today's ideological colonization".
Then after the recitation of the Marian prayer, the Pope invited to join the initiative of the International Catholic Action, which the day after tomorrow invites to a minute of silence to pray each according to their own tradition for peace.
“In particular - added Francis - for the Holy Land and Myanmar”. One last thought, for the victims of the massacre in Burkina Faso, where "the people who are suffering greatly from these attacks". "Africa - he concluded - needs peace".
Speaking before the recitation of the Angelus of the institution of the Eucharist, Francis stressed that "with simplicity, Jesus gives us the greatest sacrament. His is a humble gesture of gift, of sharing”.
“And today we find the greatness of God in a piece of bread, in a fragility that overflows with love and sharing. Fragility is precisely the word I would like to underscore. Jesus becomes fragile like the bread that is broken and crumbled. But his strength lies precisely therein. In the Eucharist fragility is strength: the strength of the love that becomes small so as to be welcomed and not feared; the strength of the love that is broken and shared so as to nourish and give life; the strength of the love that is split apart so as to join us in unity. And there is another strength that stands out in the fragility of the Eucharist: the strength to love those who make mistakes. It is on the night he is betrayed that Jesus gives us the Bread of Life. He gives us the greatest gift while in his heart he feels the deepest abyss: the disciple who eats with Him, who dips the morsel in the same plate, is betraying Him. And betrayal is the worst suffering for one who loves. And what does Jesus do? He reacts to the evil with a greater good. He responds to Judas’ ‘no’ with the ‘yes’ of mercy. He does not punish the sinner, but rather gives His life for him.”
“When we receive the Eucharist, Jesus does the same with us: he knows us; he knows that we are sinners and we make many mistakes, but he does not give up joining his life to ours. He knows that we need it, because the Eucharist is not the reward of saints, but the Bread of sinners. This is why he exhorts us: “Take and eat”. Each time we receive the Bread of Life, Jesus comes to give new meaning to our fragilities. He reminds us that in his eyes we are more precious than we think. He tells us he is pleased if we share our fragilities with Him. He repeats to us that his mercy is not afraid of our miseries. And above all he heals us with love from those fragilities that we cannot heal on our own: that of feeling resentment toward those who have hurt us; that of distancing ourselves from others and closing off within ourselves; that of feeling sorry for ourselves and lamenting without finding peace. The Eucharist is an effective medicine for these closures. The Bread of Life, indeed, heals rigidity and transforms it into docility.”
“The Eucharist heals because it joins with Jesus: it makes us assimilate his way of living, his ability to be broken up and given to brothers and sisters, to respond to evil with good. He gives us the courage to go outside of ourselves and bend down with love toward the fragility of others. As God does with us. This is the logic of the Eucharist: we receive Jesus who loves us and heals our fragilities in order to love others and help them in their fragilities. May the Blessed Virgin, in whom God became flesh, help us to embrace with a grateful heart the gift of the Eucharist and to make a gift of our life too."