Speaking to the crowds which nearly filled Saint Peter’s Square on the hot June morning, the Pope focused on the feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ – or Corpus Christi – celebrated in many parishes this Sunday.
The Gospel reading for this feast is taken from John, and focuses on Christ’s discourse on the “Bread of Life” which He delivered in the synagogue at Capernaum.
“Jesus stresses that he did not come into this world to give something,” the Pope said, “but to give himself, his life as nourishment for all those who have faith in Him.”
As disciples, the Holy Father said, we are obliged by our Communion with Christ “to imitate Him, making our existence a broken bread for others, just as the Master has broken the bread that is truly His flesh.”
Pope Francis went on to say that each time we take part in Mass and are nourished by the Body of Christ, “the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit acts in us, shapes our heart,” and speaks interiorly to us in a way that shapes our behavior according to the Gospel.
“The charity of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, makes us able to love, not according to human measure [which is] always limited, but according to the measure of God,” which is without limits. “One cannot measure the Love of God,” he said.
In this way, we become able to love those who do not love us – which, the Pope said, is not an easy thing to do – and to confront evil with goodness, to forgive others, to share, and to welcome.
By living in this way, the Holy Father said, “we discover the true joy” of giving back the great gift which we, without merit, first received ourselves.
“This is beautiful,” he said: “our life becomes a gift!” This is an imitation of Jesus.
There are two points that one must not forget, Pope Francis said: First, that “the love of God is immeasurable,” and secondly, that by “following Jesus, we – with the Eucharist – make our life a gift.”
Pope Francis concluded by offering a prayer to Mary, in whom the Word was made Flesh, “to help us rediscover the beauty of the Eucharist and make it the center of our life.”
After reciting the Angelus prayer in Latin, Pope Francis recalled that 26 June is the United Nations International Day in support of victims of torture . Saying that every form of torture is a “very grave sin,” the Pope invited Christians to commit themselves to its abolishment, and to offer their support for its victims and their families.
Finally, after greeting the many other pilgrims and local Italians who had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, the Pope wished everyone a good Sunday, and asked for their prayers.