The Pope: one cannot participate in the Eucharist without engaging in fraternity


Jesus is “renewing force” and communion, but we must let ourselves be transformed and we must overcome the temptations of rivalry. This is the central message of the Pope’s reflection on the Angelus, dedicated to the Solemnity of Corpus Christi celebrated today in Italy and in other countries. Francis warns against the risk of living the Eucharistic celebrations as empty and formal rites and underlines that if it is true that the Church does the Eucharist, it is fundamental that “the Eucharist makes the Church”.

Fausta Speranza – Vatican City

It is true that the Church makes the Eucharist, but it is more fundamental that the Eucharist makes the Church, and allows it to be its mission, even before fulfilling it.

Pope Francis at the Angelus expresses this conviction by referring to a participation in the Sacrament in which “Jesus is present to be our nourishment – he underlines – to be assimilated and become in us that renewing force that restores energy and the desire to get back on the road, after each stop or fall ”. (The service with the Pope’s voice)

The importance of willingness to be transformed

However, the mystery of the shared chalice and broken bread presupposes our yes:

But this requires our assent, our willingness to let ourselves be transformed, our way of thinking and acting; otherwise the Eucharistic celebrations in which we participate are reduced to empty and formal rites.

“Many times – adds the Pope – someone goes to Mass because it must be done as a social, respectful but social act. But the Mystery is another thing – he reiterates – it is Jesus present who comes to feed us. ” Francis refers to the First Letter to the Corinthians of Saint Paul, in which the Apostle asks himself: “And isn’t the bread we break up a communion with the Body of Christ?”. “These words – affirms Pope Francis – express the effect mystical or spiritual of the Eucharist “: it concerns the union with Christ, who offers himself for the salvation of all in bread and wine. And then he explains that the mystical one is only the first of the two effects of the shared chalice and the broken bread: the second is the “community” one. Again the reference to Saint Paul: “Since there is only one bread, we are, although many, one body.”

Communion is sincere fraternity

And Pope Francis reiterates: “It is about the mutual communion of those who participate in the Eucharist, to the point of becoming a single body among them, just as the bread that is broken and distributed is unique. Communion in the Body of Christ is an effective sign of unity, of communion, of sharing “. And warns:

You cannot participate in the Eucharist without committing yourself to a sincere mutual brotherhood, which is sincere.

The temptation of division

One awareness above all: “But the Lord knows well that our human strength alone is not enough for this”, says Francis, who recalls:

Among his disciples there will always be the temptation of rivalry, envy, prejudice, division ….

God knows it and “also for this reason he left us the Sacrament of his real, concrete and permanent Presence, so that, remaining united to him, we can always receive the gift of brotherly love.”

“Stay in my love,” he said to his friends. And Pope Francis reminds us that “it is possible thanks to the Eucharist.” It is therefore important to receive Jesus to transform us from within, to make unity. Therefore, the strong reference to the Christian community:

This twofold fruit of the Eucharist: union with Christ and communion among those who feed on him continually generates and renews the Christian community.

The reference to the Second Vatican Council

The reference to the Second Vatican Council is significant, precisely at the beginning of the Constitution on the Church, when – says Francis – “affirms that it” is, in Christ, somehow the sacrament, that is, the sign and instrument of intimate union with God and the unity of all mankind. ” Finally, Pope Francis’ prayer:May the Holy Virgin help us to always welcome with amazement and gratitude the great gift that Jesus has given us by leaving us the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. “

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