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Monday, May 30, 2016

0471: Reflections on the Tenth Sunday
of Ordinary Time by Pope Francis



Entry 0471: Reflections on the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time   

 by Pope Francis (Updated 12 June 2017) 



Otwo occasions during his pontificate, Pope Francis has delivered reflections on the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, on 9 June 2013 and on 5 June 2016. Here are the texts of two addresses prior the recitation of the Angelus and a homily delivered on these occasions.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 9 June 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good morning! The month of June is traditionally dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the greatest human expression of divine love. In fact last Friday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and this feast sets the tone for the entire month. Popular piety highly values symbols, and the Heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God’s mercy. But it is not an imaginary symbol; it is a real symbol which represents the center, the source from which salvation flowed for all of humanity.

In the Gospels we find various references to the Heart of Jesus. For example there is a passage in which Christ himself says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart” (Mt 11:28-29). Then there is the key account of Christ’s death according to John. Indeed this Evangelist bears witness to what he saw on Calvary, that is, when Jesus was already dead a soldier pierced his side with a spear and blood and water came out of the wound (see Jn 19:33-34). In that apparently coincidental sign John recognizes the fulfillment of the prophecies: from the Heart of Jesus, the Lamb sacrificed on the Cross, flow forgiveness and life for all people.

The mercy of Jesus is not only an emotion; it is a force which gives life that raises man! Today’s Gospel also tells us this in the episode of the widow of Nain (Lk 7:11-17). With his disciples, Jesus arrives in Nain, a village in Galilee, right at the moment when a funeral is taking place. A boy, the only son of a widow, is being carried for burial. Jesus immediately fixes his gaze on the crying mother. The Evangelist Luke says: “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her” (v. 13). This “compassion” is God’s love for man, it is mercy, thus the attitude of God in contact with human misery, with our destitution, our suffering, our anguish. The biblical term “compassion” recalls a mother’s womb. The mother in fact reacts in a way all her own in confronting the pain of her children. It is in this way, according to Scripture, that God loves us.

What is the fruit of this love and mercy? It is life! Jesus says to the widow of Nain: “Do not weep” and then he calls the dead boy and awakes him as if from sleep (see vv. 13-15). Let’s think about this, it’s beautiful: God’s mercy gives life to man, it raises him from the dead. Let us not forget that the Lord always watches over us with mercy; he always watches over us with mercy. Let us not be afraid of approaching him! He has a merciful heart! If we show him our inner wounds, our inner sins, he will always forgive us. It is pure mercy Let us go to Jesus!

Let us turn to the Virgin Mary: her Immaculate Heart, a mother’s heart, has fully shared in the “compassion” of God, especially in the hour of the passion and death of Jesus. May Mary help us to be mild, humble and merciful with our brothers.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 5 June 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I greet all of you who have taken part in this celebration. In a special way I thank the Official Delegations who came for the Canonizations: that of Poland, headed by the President of the Republic, and that of Sweden. May the Lord, through the intercession of these two new Saints, bless your nations.

I greet with affection the many pilgrim groups from Italy and other countries, in particular the faithful from Estonia, as well as those from the Diocese of Bologna as well as the musical bands.

All together let us now turn in prayer to the Virgin Mary, that she may always guide us on the path of sanctity and support us in building day by day justice and peace.


HOLY MASS AND CANONIZATION OF THE BLESSEDS
STANISLAUS OF JESUS AND MARY AND MARIA ELISABETH HESSELBLAD

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Saint Peter’s Square Sunday, 5 June 2016

The word of God, which we have just heard, points us to the central event of our faith: God’s victory over suffering and death. It proclaims the Gospel of hope, born of Christ’s paschal mystery, whose splendor is seen on the face of the Risen Lord and reveals God our Father as one who comforts all of us in our afflictions. That word calls us to remain united to the Passion of the Lord Jesus, so that the power of his resurrection may be revealed in us.

In the Passion of Christ, we find God’s response to the desperate and at times indignant cry that the experience of pain and death evokes in us. He tells us that we cannot flee from the Cross, but must remain at its foot, as Our Lady did. In suffering with Jesus, she received the grace of hoping against all hope (see Rom 4:18).

This was the experience of Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary, and Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad, who today are proclaimed saints. They remained deeply united to the passion of Jesus, and in them the power of his resurrection was revealed.

This Sunday’s first reading and Gospel offer us amazing signs of death and resurrection. The first took place at the hand of the Prophet Isaiah, the second by Jesus. In both cases, they involved the young children of widows, who were then given back alive to their mothers.

The widow of Zarephath—a woman who was not a Jew, yet had received the Prophet Elijah in her home—was upset with the prophet and with God, because when Elijah was a guest in her home her child had taken ill and had died in her arms. Elijah says to her: “Give me your son” (1 Kings 17:19). What he says is significant. His words tell us something about God’s response to our own death, however it may come about. He does not say: “Hold on to it; sort it out yourself!” Instead, he says: “Give it to me.” And indeed the prophet takes the child and carries him to the upper room, and there, by himself, in prayer “fights with God,” pointing out to him the absurdity of that death. The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, for it was in fact he, God, who spoke and acted in the person of the prophet. It was God who, speaking through Elijah, told the woman: “Give me your son.” And now it was God who gave the child back alive to his mother.

God’s tenderness is fully revealed in Jesus. We heard in the Gospel (Lk 7:11-17) of the “great compassion” (v. 13) which Jesus felt for the widow of Nain in Galilee, who was accompanying her only son, a mere adolescent, to his burial. Jesus draws close, touches the bier, stops the funeral procession, and must have caressed that poor mother’s face bathed in tears. “Do not weep,” he says to her (Lk 7:13), as to say: “Give me your son.” Jesus asks to take our death upon himself, to free us from it and to restore our life. The young man then awoke as if from a deep sleep and began to speak. Jesus “gave him to his mother” (v. 15). Jesus is no wizard! It is God’s tenderness incarnate; the Father’s immense compassion is at work in Jesus.

The experience of the Apostle Paul was also a kind of resurrection. From a fierce enemy and persecutor of Christians, he became a witness and herald of the Gospel (see Gal 1:13-17). This radical change was not his own work, but a gift of God’s mercy. God “chose” him and “called him by his grace.” “In him,” God desired to reveal his Son, so that Paul might proclaim Christ among the Gentiles (vv. 15-16). Paul says that God the Father was pleased to reveal his Son not only to him, but in him, impressing as it were in his own person, flesh and spirit, the death and resurrection of Christ. As a result, the Apostle was not only to be a messenger, but above all a witness.

So it is with each and every sinner. Jesus constantly makes the victory of life-giving grace shine forth. Today, and every day, he says to Mother Church: “Give me your children,” which means all of us. He takes our sins upon himself, takes them away and gives us back alive to the Mother Church. All that happens in a special way during this Holy Year of Mercy.

The Church today offers us two of her children who are exemplary witnesses to this mystery of resurrection. Both can sing forever in the words of the Psalmist: “You have changed my mourning into dancing / O Lord, my God, I will thank you forever” (Ps 30:12). Let us all join in saying: “I will extol you, Lord, for you have raised me up” (Antiphon of the Responsorial Psalm)


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For reflections on the Tenth Sunday of Ordinary Time  

 by Pope Benedict XVI,
please scroll down to the bottom of this page.


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Monday, May 23, 2016

0470: Reflections on the Solemnity of the
Sacred Body and Blood of Christ by Pope Francis



Entry 0470: Reflections on the Solemnity of the  

Sacred Body and Blood of Christ by Pope Francis
(Updated 9 June 2017) 



Oseven occasions during his pontificate, Pope Francis has delivered reflections on the solemnity of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ on 30 May 2013, 2 June 2013, 19 June 2014, 22 June 2014, 4 June 2015, 7 June 2015, and 26 May 2016. Here are the texts of three addresses prior the recitation of the Angelus and four homilies delivered on these occasions.


HOLY MASS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Thursday, 30 May 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the Gospel we have listened to, Jesus says something that I always find striking: “you give them something to eat” (Lk 9:13). Starting with this sentence I am letting myself be guided by three words; following [sequela], communion, sharing.

1. First of all: who are those who must be given something to eat? We find the answer at the beginning of the Gospel passage: it is the crowd, the multitude. Jesus is in the midst of the people, he welcomes them, he speaks to them, he heals them, he shows them God’s mercy; it is from among them that he chooses the Twelve Apostles to be with him and, like him, to immerse themselves in the practical situations of the world. Furthermore the people follow him and listen to him, because Jesus is speaking and behaving in a new way, with the authority of someone who is authentic and consistent, someone who speaks and acts with truth, someone who gives the hope that comes from God, someone who is a revelation of the Face of a God who is love. And the people joyfully bless God.

This evening we are the crowd of the Gospel, we too seek to follow Jesus in order to listen to him, to enter into communion with him in the Eucharist, to accompany him and in order that he accompany us. Let us ask ourselves: how do I follow Jesus? Jesus speaks in silence in the Mystery of the Eucharist. He reminds us every time that following him means going out of ourselves and not making our life a possession of our own, but rather a gift to him and to others.

2. Let us take another step. What does Jesus’ request to the disciples, that they themselves give food to the multitude, come from? It comes from two things: first of all from the crowd, who in following Jesus find themselves in the open air, far from any inhabited areas, while evening is falling; and then from the concern of the disciples who ask Jesus to send the crowd away so that they can go to the neighboring villages to find provisions and somewhere to stay (see Lk 9:12).

Faced with the needs of the crowd the disciples’ solution was this: let each one think of himself—send the crowd away! How often do we Christians have this temptation! We do not take upon ourselves the needs of others, but dismiss them with a pious: “God help you,” or with a not so pious “good luck,” and if I never see you again. But Jesus’ solution goes in another direction, a direction that astonishes the disciples: “You give them something to eat.” Yet how could we be the ones to give a multitude something to eat? “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all these people” (Lk 9:13). However Jesus does not despair. He asks the disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 50 people. He looks up to heaven, recites the blessing, breaks the bread and fish into pieces and gives them to the disciples to distribute (see Lk 9:16). It is a moment of deep communion: the crowd is satisfied by the word of the Lord and is now nourished by his bread of life. And they were all satisfied, the Evangelist notes (see Lk 9:17).

This evening we too are gathered round the table of the Lord, the table of the Eucharistic sacrifice, in which he once again gives us his Body and makes present the one sacrifice of the Cross. It is in listening to his word, in nourishing ourselves with his Body and his Blood that he moves us on from being a multitude to being a community, from anonymity to communion. The Eucharist is the sacrament of communion that brings us out of individualism so that we may follow him together, living out our faith in him. Therefore we should all ask ourselves before the Lord: how do I live the Eucharist? Do I live it anonymously or as a moment of true communion with the Lord, and also with all the brothers and sisters who share this same banquet? What are our Eucharistic celebrations like?

3. A final element: where does the multiplication of the loaves come from? The answer lies in Jesus’ request to the disciples: “You give them,” “to give,” to share. What do the disciples share? The little they have: five loaves and two fish. However it is those very loaves and fish in the Lord’s hands that feed the entire crowd. And it is the disciples themselves, bewildered as they face the insufficiency of their means, the poverty of what they are able to make available, who get the people to sit down and who—trusting in Jesus’ words—distribute the loaves and fish that satisfy the crowd. And this tells us that in the Church, but also in society, a key word of which we must not be frightened is “solidarity,” that is, the ability to make what we have, our humble capacities, available to God, for only in sharing, in giving, will our life be fruitful. Solidarity is a word seen badly by the spirit of the world!

This evening, once again, the Lord distributes for us the bread that is his Body, he makes himself a gift; and we too experience “God’s solidarity” with man, a solidarity that is never depleted, a solidarity that never ceases to amaze us: God makes himself close to us, in the sacrifice of the Cross he humbles himself, entering the darkness of death to give us his life which overcomes evil, selfishness and death. Jesus, this evening too, gives himself to us in the Eucharist, shares in our journey, indeed he makes himself food, the true food that sustains our life also in moments when the road becomes hard-going and obstacles slow our steps. And in the Eucharist the Lord makes us walk on his road, that of service, of sharing, of giving; and if it is shared, that little we have, that little we are, becomes riches, for the power of God—which is the power of love—comes down into our poverty to transform it.

So let us ask ourselves this evening, in adoring Christ who is really present in the Eucharist: do I let myself be transformed by him? Do I let the Lord who gives himself to me, guide me to going out ever more from my little enclosure, in order to give, to share, to love him and others?

Brothers and sisters, following, communion, sharing. Let us pray that participation in the Eucharist may always be an incentive: to follow the Lord every day, to be instruments of communion and to share what we are with him and with our neighbor. Our life will then be truly fruitful. Amen.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 2 June 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good morning! Last Thursday we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, which, in Italy and in other countries has been moved to this Sunday. It is the Feast of the Eucharist, the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.

The Gospel presents to us the account of the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves (Lk 9:11-17); I would like to reflect on one aspect of it that never fails to impress me and makes me think. We are on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, daylight is fading. Jesus is concerned for the people who have spent so many hours with him: there are thousands of them and they are hungry. What should he do? The disciples also pose the problem and tell Jesus: “send the crowd away” so that they can go and find provisions in the villages close by. But Jesus says: “You give them something to eat” (v. 13). The disciples are discomfited and answer him: “we have no more than five loaves and two fish,” as if to say, barely enough for ourselves.

Jesus well knows what to do, but he wishes to involve his disciples, he wants to teach them. The disciples’ attitude is the human one that seeks the most realistic solution which does not create too many problems: dismiss the crowd, they say, let each person organize himself as best he can, moreover you have already done so much for them: you have preached, you have healed the sick. Send the crowd away!

Jesus’ outlook is very different; it is dictated by his union with the Father and his compassion for the people, that mercifulness of Jesus for us all. Jesus senses our problems, he senses our weaknesses, he senses our needs. Looking at those five loaves, Jesus thinks: this is Providence! From this small amount, God can make it suffice for everyone. Jesus trusts in the heavenly Father without reserve; he knows that for him everything is possible. Thus he tells his disciples to have the people sit down in groups of 50—this is not merely coincidental, for it means that they are no longer a crowd but become communities nourished by God’s bread. Jesus then takes those loaves and fish, looks up to heaven, recites the blessing—the reference to the Eucharist is clear—and breaks them and gives them to the disciples who distribute them, and the loaves and fish do not run out, they do not run out! This is the miracle: rather than a multiplication it is a sharing, inspired by faith and prayer. Everyone eats and some is left over: it is the sign of Jesus, the Bread of God for humanity.

The disciples witnessed the message but failed to understand it. Like the crowd they are swept up by enthusiasm for what has occurred. Once again they follow human logic rather than God’s, which is that of service, love and faith. The Feast of Corpus Christi asks us to convert to faith in Providence, so that we may share the little we are and have, and never to withdraw into ourselves. Let us ask our Mother Mary to help us in this conversion, in order to follow truly and more closely the Jesus whom we adore in the Eucharist. So may it be.


HOLY MASS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Saint John Lateran Square, Thursday, 19 June 2014

“The Lord your God, fed you with manna, which you did not know” (Dt 8:2-3).

These words from Deuteronomy make reference to the history of the Israelites, whom God led out of Egypt, out of slavery, and for 40 years led through the desert toward the promised land. Once established on the land, the Chosen People attain a certain autonomy, a certain wellbeing, and run the risk of forgetting the harrowing events of the past, overcome thanks to God’s intervention and to his infinite goodness. And so the Scriptures urge the people to recall, to remember, to memorize, the entire walk through the desert, in times of famine and desperation. The command of Moses is to return to the basics, to the experience of total dependence on God, when survival was placed in his hands, so the people would understand that “man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Dt 8:3).

Besides physical hunger, man experiences another hunger, a hunger that cannot be satiated with ordinary food. It’s a hunger for life, a hunger for love, a hunger for eternity. And the sign of manna—like the entire experience of Exodus—also contains in itself this dimension: it was the symbol of a food that satisfies this deep human hunger. Jesus gives us this food, rather, He himself is the living bread that gives life to the world (see Jn 6:51). His Body is the true food in the form of bread; his Blood is the true drink in the form of wine. It isn’t simple nourishment to satisfy the body, like manna; the Body of Christ is the bread of the last times, capable of giving life, eternal life, because this bread is made of love.

The Eucharist communicates the Lord’s love for us: a love so great that it nourishes us with Himself; a freely given love, always available to every person who hungers and needs to regenerate his own strength. To live the experience of faith means to allow oneself to be nourished by the Lord and to build one’s own existence not with material goods but with the reality that does not perish: the gifts of God, his Word and his Body.

If we look around, we realize that there are so many offers of food which do not come from the Lord and which appear to be more satisfying. Some nourish themselves with money, others with success and vanity, others with power and pride. But the food that truly nourishes and satiates us is only that which the Lord gives us! The food the Lord offers us is different from other food, and perhaps it doesn’t seem as flavorful to us as certain other dishes the world offers us. So we dream of other dishes, like the Hebrews in the desert, who longed for the meat and onions they ate in Egypt, but forgot that they had eaten those meals at the table of slavery. In those moments of temptation, they had a memory, but a sick memory, a selective memory. A slave memory, not a free one.

We, today, may ask ourselves: what about me? Where do I want to eat? At which table to I want to be nourished? At the Lord’s table? Or do I dream about eating flavorful foods, but in slavery? Moreover, we may ask ourselves: what do I recall? The Lord who saves me, or the garlic and onions of slavery? Which recollection satiates my soul?

The Father tells us: “I fed you with manna, which you did not know.” Let us recover this memory. This is the task, to recover that memory. And let us learn to recognize the false bread that deceives and corrupts, because it comes from selfishness, from self-reliance and from sin.

Soon, in the procession, we will follow Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. The Host is our manna, through which the Lord gives himself to us. We turn to Him with faith: Jesus, defend us from the temptation of worldly food which enslaves us, tainted food; purify our memory, so it isn’t imprisoned in selfish and worldly selectivity, but that it may be a living memory of your presence throughout the history of your people, a memory that makes a “monument” of your gesture of redeeming love. Amen.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 22 June 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is being celebrated this Sunday in Italy and in many other Countries, often using the Latin terms—Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi. The ecclesial community gathers around the Eucharist to adore the most precious treasure that Jesus left us.

The Gospel of John presents the discourse on the “bread of life,” held by Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum, in which he affirms, “I am the living bread come down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh” (Jn 6:51). Jesus underlines that he has not come into this world to give something, but to give himself, his life, as nourishment for those who have faith in Him. This our communion with the Lord obliges us, his disciples, to imitate him, making our existence, through our behavior, bread broken for others, as the Teacher has broken the bread that is truly his flesh. Instead, this means for us generous conduct towards our neighbor thereby demonstrating the attitude of giving life for others.

Every time that we participate in Holy Mass and we are nourished by the Body of Christ, the presence of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit acts in us, shaping our hearts, communicating an interior disposition to us that translates into conduct according to the Gospel. Above all, docility to the Word of God, then fraternity amongst ourselves, the courage of Christian witness, creative charity, the capacity to give hope to the disheartened, to welcome the excluded. In this way the Eucharist fosters a mature Christian lifestyle. The charity of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, renders us capable of loving not according to human measure, always limited, but according to the measure of God. And what is the measure of God? Without measure! The measure of God is without measure. Everything! Everything! Everything! It’s impossible to measure the love of God: it is without measure! And so we become capable of loving even those who do not love us: and this is not easy. To love someone who doesn’t love us. It’s not easy! Because if we know that a person doesn’t like us, then we also tend to bear ill will. But no! We must love even someone who doesn’t love us! Opposing evil with good, with pardon, with sharing, with welcome. Thanks to Jesus and to his Spirit, even our life becomes “bread broken” for our brothers. And living like this we discover true joy! The joy of making of oneself a gift, of reciprocating the great gift that we have first received, without merit of our own. This is beautiful: our life is made a gift! This is to imitate Jesus. I wish to remind you of these two things. First: the measure of God’s love is love without measure. Is this clear? And our life, with the love of Jesus, received in the Eucharist, is made a gift. As was the life of Jesus. Don’t forget these two things: the measure of the love of God is love without measure. And following Jesus, we, with the Eucharist, make of our life a gift.

Jesus, Bread of eternal life, came down from heaven and was made flesh thanks to the faith of Mary Most Holy. After having borne him with ineffable love in herself, she followed him faithfully unto the Cross and to the resurrection. Let us ask Our Lady to help us rediscover the beauty of the Eucharist, to make it the center of our life, especially at Sunday Mass and in adoration.


HOLY MASS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Saint John Lateran Square, Thursday, 4 June 2015

We heard: how at the Last Supper Jesus gives his Body and his Blood through the bread and wine, to leave us the memorial of his sacrifice of infinite love. And with this “Viaticum” filled with grace, the disciples had everything necessary for their journey through history, to extend to all the Kingdom of God. The gift that Jesus made of himself, by his voluntary immolation on the Cross, will be light and strength for them. And this Bread of Life has come down to us! The Church’s amazement at this reality is unending. An astonishment which always feeds contemplation, adoration, and memory. This is shown to us by a really beautiful text from today’s Liturgy, the Responsory to the Second Reading from the Office of Readings, which reads: “See in this bread the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup the blood which flowed from his side. Take his body, then, and eat it; take his blood and drink it, and you will become his members. The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to him: eat it, or you will have no part in him. The blood is the price he paid for your redemption: drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness.

There is a danger, there is a threat: to have no part in him, to despair. What does it mean today, this “to have no part in him” and “to despair”?

We have no part in him when we are not docile to the Word of the Lord, when we do not live in fraternity among ourselves, when we compete for first place—climbers—when we do not find the courage to witness to charity, when we are incapable of offering hope. This is when we have no part in him. The Eucharist enables us to abide in him, for it is the bond which unites us to him, it is the fulfillment of the Covenant, the living sign of the love of Christ who humbled and lowered himself in order that we remain united. Participating in the Eucharist and being nourished of him, we are included in a journey which admits no division. Christ present in our midst, in the sign of the bread and wine, demands that the power of love overcome every laceration, and at the same time that it also become communion with the poorest, support for the weak, fraternal attention to those who have difficulty in bearing the weight of daily life, and are in danger of losing their faith.

And then the other phrase: what does it mean for us today to “despair,” or to water down our Christian dignity? It means allowing ourselves to be undermined by the idolatries of our time: appearances, consumerism, egocentrism; but also competitiveness, arrogance as a winning attitude, never admitting to mistakes or to being in need. All this leads us to despair, making us mediocre Christians, lukewarm, bland, pagans.

Jesus poured out his Blood as the price and the laver, so that we might be purified of all sin: not to lose hope, let us look to Him, drink at his font, to be shielded from the risk of corruption. Then we will feel the grace of transformation: we will always be poor sinners, but the Blood of Christ will free us from our sins and restore our dignity. It will free us from corruption. Not by our merit, with sincere humility, we will be able to bring our brothers the love of our Lord and Savior. We will be his eyes which go in search of Zacchaeus and Mary Magdalene; we will be his hand which soothes those who are sick in body and spirit; we will be his heart which loves those in need of reconciliation, mercy and understanding.

Thus the Eucharist fulfills the Covenant which sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in worthy communion with God. Thus we learn that the Eucharist is not a prize for the good, but is strength for the weak, for sinners. It is forgiveness, it is the Viaticum that helps us to move forward, to walk.

Today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, we have the joy not only to celebrate this mystery, but also to praise it and sing it through the streets of our City. May the procession we will make at the end of Mass express our gratitude for the whole journey that God has made us travel through the desert of our poverty, to deliver us from servitude, nourishing us with his Love through the Sacrament of his Body and his Blood.

Soon, while we walk along the street, we will feel we are in communion with so many of our brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to express their faith in the Lord Jesus. Let us feel united with them: let us sing with them, praise with them, adore with them. And let us venerate in our heart those brothers and sisters of whom the supreme sacrifice was demanded for faithfulness to Christ: may their blood united with the Lord’s be a pledge of peace and reconciliation for the entire world.

And let us not forget: “The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to him: eat it, or you will have no part in him. The blood is the price he paid for your redemption: drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness.”


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Sunday, 7 June 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Today in many countries, including Italy, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ or, according to the well known Latin expression, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

The Gospel presents the narrative of the institution of the Eucharist, performed by Jesus during the Last Supper in the Upper Room in Jerusalem. On the eve of his redeeming death on the Cross, He fulfilled what had been foretold: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him” (Jn 6:51, 56). Jesus takes the bread in his hands and says “Take; this is my body” (Mk 14:22). With this gesture and with these words, He assigns to the bread a function which is no longer simply that of physical nutrition, but that of making his Person present in the midst of the community of believers.

The Last Supper represents the culmination of Christ’s entire life. It is not only the anticipation of his sacrifice which will be rendered on the Cross, but also the synthesis of a life offered for the salvation of the whole of humanity. Therefore, it is not enough to state that Jesus is present in the Eucharist, but one must see in it the presence of a life given and partake in it. When we take and eat that Bread, we are associated into the life of Jesus, we enter into communion with Him, we commit to achieve communion among ourselves, to transform our life into a gift, especially to the poorest.

Today’s feast evokes this message of solidarity and urges us to welcome the intimate invitation to conversion and to service, love and forgiveness. It urges us to become, with our life, imitators of that which we celebrate in the Liturgy. The Christ, who nourishes us under the consecrated species of bread and wine, is the same One who comes to us in the everyday happenings; He is in the poor person who holds out his hand, in the suffering one who begs for help, in the brother or sister who asks for our availability and awaits our welcome. He is in the child who knows nothing about Jesus or salvation, who does not have faith. He is in every human being, even the smallest and the defenseless.

The Eucharist, source of love for the life of the Church, is the school of charity and solidarity. Those who are nourished by the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent to those who do not have their daily bread. Today, we know it is an ever more serious problem.

May the Feast of Corpus Christi increasingly inspire and nurture in each one of us the desire and commitment for a welcoming and supportive society. Let us pour these hopes into the heart of the Virgin Mary, Eucharistic Woman. May she kindle in all the joy of participating in the Holy Mass, especially on Sundays, and the joyful courage to testify to the infinite love of Christ.


HOLY MASS ON THE SOLEMNITY OF CORPUS CHRISTI

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Saint John Lateran Square, Thursday, 26 May 2016

"Do this in remembrance of me" (1 Cor 11 :24-25).

Twice the Apostle Paul, writing to the community in Corinth, recalls this command of Jesus in his account of the institution of the Eucharist. It is the oldest testimony we have to the words of Christ at the Last Supper.

“Do this.” That is, take bread, give thanks and break it; take the chalice, give thanks, and share it. Jesus gives the command to repeat this action by which he instituted the memorial of his own Pasch, and in so doing gives us his Body and his Blood. This action reaches us today: it is the “doing” of the Eucharist which always has Jesus as its subject, but which is made real through our poor hands anointed by the Holy Spirit.

“Do this.” Jesus on a previous occasion asked his disciples to “do” what was so clear to him, in obedience to the will of the Father. In the Gospel passage that we have just heard, Jesus says to the disciples in front of the tired and hungry crowds: “Give them something to eat yourselves” (Lk 9:13). Indeed, it is Jesus who blesses and breaks the loaves and provides sufficient food to satisfy the whole crowd, but it is the disciples who offer the five loaves and two fish. Jesus wanted it this way: that, instead of sending the crowd away, the disciples would put at his disposal what little they had. And there is another gesture: the pieces of bread, broken by the holy and venerable hands of Our Lord, pass into the poor hands of the disciples, who distribute these to the people. This too is the disciples “doing” with Jesus; with him they are able to “give them something to eat.” Clearly this miracle was not intended merely to satisfy hunger for a day, but rather it signals what Christ wants to accomplish for the salvation of all mankind, giving his own flesh and blood (see Jn 6:48-58). And yet this needs always to happen through those two small actions: offering the few loaves and fish which we have; receiving the bread broken by the hands of Jesus and giving it to all.

Breaking: this is the other word explaining the meaning of those words: “Do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus was broken; he is broken for us. And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others. This “breaking bread” became the icon, the sign for recognizing Christ and Christians. We think of Emmaus: they knew him “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). We recall the first community of Jerusalem: “They held steadfastly, to the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42). From the outset it is the Eucharist which becomes the center and pattern of the life of the Church. But we think also of all the saints—famous or anonymous—who have “broken” themselves, their own life, in order to “give something to eat” to their brothers and sisters. How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well! How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated! Where do they find the strength to do this? It is in the Eucharist: in the power of the Risen Lord’s love, who today too breaks bread for us and repeats: “Do this in remembrance of me.”

May this action of the Eucharistic procession, which we will carry out shortly, respond to Jesus’ command. An action to commemorate him; an action to give food to the crowds of today; an act to break open our faith and our lives as a sign of Christ’s love for this city and for the whole world


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



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For reflections on the solemnity of the Sacred Body and Blood of Christ  

 by Pope Benedict XVI,
please scroll down to the bottom of this page.


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Monday, May 16, 2016

0469: Reflections on the Solemnity of the Most
Holy Trinity by Pope Francis



Entry 0469: Reflections on the Solemnity of the Most 

Holy Trinity by Pope Francis (Updated 29 May 2017) 



Ofour occasions during his pontificate, Pope Francis has delivered reflections on the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, on 26 May 2013, 15 June 2014, 31 May 2015, and 22 May 2016. Here are the texts of four brief reflections prior to the recitation of the prayer Regina Caeli and one homily delivered by the Holy Father on these occasions.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 26 May 2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good morning! This morning I made my first visit to a parish in the Diocese of Rome. I thank the Lord and I ask you to pray for my pastoral service to this Church of Rome whose mission is to preside in universal charity.

Today is the Sunday of the Most Holy Trinity. The light of Eastertide and of Pentecost renews in us every year the joy and amazement of faith: let us recognize that God is not something vague, our God is not a God “spray,” he is tangible; he is not abstract but has a name: “God is love.” His is not a sentimental, emotional kind of love but the love of the Father who is the origin of all life, the love of the Son who dies on the Cross and is raised, the love of the Spirit who renews human beings and the world. Thinking that God is love does us so much good, because it teaches us to love, to give ourselves to others as Jesus gave himself to us and walks with us. Jesus walks beside us on the road through life.

The Most Holy Trinity is not the product of human reasoning but the face with which God actually revealed himself, not from the heights of a throne, but walking with humanity. It is Jesus himself who revealed the Father to us and who promised us the Holy Spirit. God walked with his people in the history of the People of Israel and Jesus has always walked with us and promised us the Holy Spirit who is fire, who teaches us everything we do not know and from within us guides us, gives us good ideas and good inspirations.

Today we do not praise God for a specific mystery, but for himself, “for his immense glory,” as the liturgical hymn says. We praise him and we thank him because he is Love, and because he calls us to enter into the embrace of his communion which is eternal life.

Let us entrust our praise to the hands of the Virgin Mary. She, the most humble of creatures, thanks to Christ has already arrived at the destination of the earthly pilgrimage: she is already in the glory of the Trinity. For this reason Mary our Mother, Our Lady, shines out for us as a sign of sure hope. She is the Mother of Hope; on our journey, on our way, she is Mother of Hope. She is also the Mother who comforts us, the Mother of consolation and the Mother who accompanies us on the journey. Let us now pray to Our Lady all together, to Our Mother who accompanies us on the way.


VISIT TO THE PARISH OF Sts. ELIZABETH AND ZACHARIAH

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

Rome, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 26 May 2013

At the start of the Eucharistic Celebration, the Holy Father, after the greeting of the parish priest, said:

Dear First Watchman, dear Second Watchman, dear Watchmen,

I like what you said: that the word “outskirts” has a negative connotation but also a positive one. Do you know why? Because we understand reality better from the outskirts not the center. We understand it better. Also, what you said: about becoming watchmen, wasn’t it?

Thank you for this office, for your work as watchmen. I thank you too for your welcome on this day of the Feast of the Trinity. There are priests here whom you know well, the two secretaries of the Pope, the Pope who is in the Vatican, isn’t he? Today the Bishop of Rome has come here. And these two work hard. But today one of them, Fr Alfred, is celebrating the anniversary of his priestly ordination: 29 years. Give him a round of applause! Let us pray for him and ask for at least another 29 years for him. Shall we? Let us begin Mass like this, with a spirit of devotion, in silence, all praying together for all of us.

Later the Holy Father gave a homily in the form of a dialogue with the children who are First Communicants this year.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In his greeting the Parish Priest reminded me of something beautiful about Our Lady. Our Lady, as soon as she had heard the news that she was to be the Mother of Jesus and the announcement that her cousin Elizabeth was expecting a child—the Gospel says—she went to her in haste, she did not wait. She did not say: “But now I am with child I must take care of my health. My cousin is bound to have friends who can care for her.” Something stirred her and she “went with haste” to Elizabeth (see Lk 1:39). It is beautiful to think this of Our Lady, of our Mother, that she hastens, because she intends to help. She goes to help, she doesn’t go to boast and tell her cousin: “listen, I’m in charge now, because I am the Mother of God!” No, she did not do that. She went to help! And Our Lady is always like this. She is our Mother who always hurries to us whenever we are in need.

It would be beautiful to add to the Litany of Our Lady something like this: “O Lady who goes in haste, pray for us!” It is lovely, isn’t? For she always goes in haste, she does not forget her children. And when her children are in difficulty, when they need something and call on her, she hurries to them. This gives us a security, the security of always having our Mother next to us, beside us. We move forward, we journey more easily in life when our mother is near. Let us think of this grace of Our Lady, this grace that she gives us: of being close to us, but without making us wait for her. Always! She—lets us trust in this—she lives to help us. Our Lady who always hastens, for our sake.

Our Lady also helps us to understand God and Jesus well, to understand Jesus’ life well and God’s life, and to understand properly what the Lord is, what the Lord is like and, God is. I ask you children: “Who knows who God is?” Raise your hand. Tell me? There! Creator of the earth. And how many Gods are there? One? But I have been told that there are three: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! How can this be explained? Is there one or are there three? One? One? And how is it possible to explain that one is the Father, another the Son and the other the Holy Spirit? Louder, Louder! That girl is right. They are three in one, three Persons in one.

And what does the Father do? The Father is the beginning, the Father who created all things, who created us. What does the Son do? What does Jesus do? Who can tell me what Jesus does? Does he love us? And then? He brings the word of God! Jesus comes to teach us the word of God. This is excellent! And what then? What did Jesus do on earth? He saved us! And Jesus came to give his life for us. The Father creates the world; Jesus saves us.

And what does the Holy Spirit do? He loves us! He gives you love! All the children together: The Father creates all, he creates the world; Jesus saves us; and the Holy Spirit? He loves us! And this is Christian life: talking to the Father, talking to the Son and talking to the Holy Spirit. Jesus has saved us, but he also walks beside us in life. Is this true? And how does he walk? What does he do when he walks beside us in life? This is hard. Anyone who knows this wins the Derby! What does Jesus do when he walks with us? Louder! First: he helps us. He leads us! Very good. He walks with us, he helps us, he leads us and he teaches us to journey on.

And Jesus also gives us the strength to work. Doesn’t he? He sustains us! Good! In difficulty, doesn’t he? And also in our school tasks! He supports us, he helps us, he leads us, he sustains us. That’s it! Jesus always goes with us. Good. But listen, Jesus gives us strength. How does Jesus give us strength? You know this, you know that he gives us strength! Louder, I can’t hear you! In Communion he gives us strength, he really helps us with strength. He comes to us. But when you say, “he gives us Communion,” does a piece of bread make you so strong? Isn’t it bread? Is it bread? This is bread, but is what is on the altar bread? Or isn’t it bread? It seems to be bread. It is not really bread. What is it? It is the Body of Jesus. Jesus comes into our heart.

So let us all think about this: The Father has given us life; Jesus has given us salvation, he accompanies us, he leads us, he supports us, he teaches us; and the Holy Spirit? What does he give us? He loves us! He gives us love. Let us think of God in this way and ask Our Lady, Our Lady our Mother, who always hurries to our aid, to teach us to understand properly what God is like: what the Father is like, what the Son is like, and what the Holy Spirit is like. So be it.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 15 June 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, which leads us to contemplate and worship the divine life of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: a life of communion and perfect love, origin and aim of all the universe and of every creature: God. We also recognize in the Trinity the model for the Church, in which we are called to love each other as Jesus loved us. And love is the concrete sign that demonstrates faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And love is the badge of the Christian, as Jesus told us: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). It’s a contradiction to think of Christians who hate. It’s a contradiction. And the devil always seeks this: to make us hate, because he’s always a troublemaker; he doesn’t know love; God is love!

We are all called to witness and proclaim the message that “God is love,” that God isn’t far and insensitive to our human affairs. He is close to us, always beside us, walking with us to share our joys and our sorrows, our hopes and our struggles. He loves us very much and for that reason he became man, he came into the world not to condemn it, but so the world would be saved through Jesus (see Jn 3:16-17). And this is the love of God in Jesus, this love that is so difficult to understand but that we feel when we draw close to Jesus. And he always forgives us, he always awaits us, he loves us so much. And we feel the love of Jesus and the love of God.

The Holy Spirit, gift of the Risen Jesus, conveys divine life to us and thus lets us enter into the dynamism of the Trinity, which is a dynamism of love, of communion, of mutual service, of sharing. A person who loves others for the very joy of love is a reflection of the Trinity. A family in which each person loves and helps one another is a reflection of the Trinity. A parish in which each person loves and shares spiritual and material effects is a reflection of the Trinity.

True love is boundless, but it knows how to limit itself, to interact with others, to respect the freedom of others. Every Sunday we go to Mass, we celebrate the Eucharist together and the Eucharist is like the “burning bush” in which the Trinity humbly lives and communicates; for this reason the Church placed the feast of Corpus Domini after that of the Trinity. Next Thursday, according to Roman tradition, we’ll celebrate Holy Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran and then, we’ll have the procession with the Most Holy Sacrament. I invite all Romans and pilgrims to participate in order to express our desire to be “a people made one in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (St Cyprian). I await everyone next Thursday at 7:00 pm, for the Mass and the Corpus Christi Procession.

May the Virgin Mary, perfect creation of the Trinity, help us to make our whole lives, in small gestures and more important choices, an homage to God, who is Love.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

Saint Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 31 May 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning and happy Sunday!

Today we are celebrating the feast of the Most Holy Trinity, which reminds us of the mystery of one God in three Persons: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the communion of Divine Persons who are one with the others, one for the others, one in the others: this communion is the life of God, the mystery of the love of the Living God. Jesus revealed this mystery to us. He spoke to us of God as the Father; He spoke to us of the Spirit; and He spoke to us of Himself as the Son of God. Thus, He revealed this mystery to us. After He rose, He sent the disciples to evangelize to the peoples, He told them to baptize them “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19). This command is entrusted by Christ in all ages to the Church, which has inherited the missionary mandate from the Apostles. He also directs it to each one of us who, through the power of Baptism, are part of his Community.

Therefore, today’s liturgical solemnity, while making us contemplate the amazing mystery from which we come and toward which we are going, renews for us the mission of living in communion with God and living in communion among ourselves on the model of the divine communion. We are called to live not as one without the others, above or against the others, but one with the others, for the others, and in the others. This means to accept and witness in harmony the beauty of the Gospel; experiencing love for one another and for all, sharing joy and suffering, learning to ask and grant forgiveness, appreciating various charisms under the guidance of Pastors. In a word, we have been entrusted with the task of edifying ecclesial communities which increasingly become families, capable of reflecting the splendor of the Trinity and evangelizing not only with the words but with the power of the love of God that lives within us.

The Trinity, as I said, is also the ultimate goal toward which our earthly pilgrimage is directed. The journey of Christian life is indeed essentially a “Trinitarian” journey: The Holy Spirit guides us to full knowledge of Christ’s teachings, and also reminds us what Jesus taught us. Jesus, in turn, came into the world to make the Father known to us, to guide us to Him, to reconcile us with Him. Everything in Christian life revolves around the Mystery of the Trinity and is fulfilled according to this infinite mystery. Therefore, we seek to always hold high the “tone” of our life, remembering what goal, what glory we exist for, work for, struggle for, suffer for; and what immense reward we are called to. This mystery embraces our entire life and our entire Christian being. We remember it, for example, each time we make the sign of the Cross: in the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And now I invite you, all together, and out loud, to make this sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!”

On this last day of the month of May, the Marian month, let us entrust ourselves to the Virgin Mary. May she who, more than any other being, knew, worshiped, loved the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, lead us by the hand; help us to grasp in the world’s events the signs of the presence of God, the Father and Son and Holy Spirit; enable us to love the Lord Jesus with all our heart, to walk toward the vision of the Trinity, the marvelous destination toward which our life is drawn. Let us also ask her to help the Church to be the mystery of communion and hospitable community, where all persons, especially the poor and the marginalized, may find welcome and feel themselves the wanted and beloved children of God.


POPE FRANCIS

ANGELUS

St Peter’s Square, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, 22 May 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!

Today, the Feast of the Holy Trinity, the Gospel of St. John gives us part of the long farewell discourse pronounced by Jesus shortly before his Passion. In this discourse, he explains to the disciples the deepest truths about himself, and thus he outlines the relationship between Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus knows that the fulfillment of the Father’s plan is approaching and will be completed with his death and resurrection. Because of this he wants to assure his followers that he won’t abandon them, because his mission will be prolonged by the Holy Spirit. It will be the Holy Spirit who continues the mission of Jesus, that is, guide the Church forward.

Jesus reveals what this mission is. In the first place, the Spirit guides us to understand the many things that Jesus himself still had to say (see Jn 16:12). This doesn’t refer to new or special doctrines, but to a full understanding of all that the Son has heard from the Father and has made known to the disciples (see v. 15). The Spirit guides us in new existential situations with a gaze fixed on Jesus and at the same time, open to events and to the future. He helps us to walk in history, firmly rooted in the Gospel and with dynamic fidelity to our traditions and customs.

But the mystery of the Trinity also speaks to us of ourselves, of our relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed us in the heart and the very life of God, who is a communion of love. God is a “family” of three Persons who love each other so much as to form a single whole. This “divine family” is not closed in on itself, but is open. It communicates itself in creation and in history and has entered into the world of men to call everyone to form part of it. The trinitarian horizon of communion surrounds all of us and stimulates us to live in love and fraternal sharing, certain that where there is love, there is God.

Our being created in the image and likeness of God-Communion calls us to understand ourselves as beings-in-relationship and to live interpersonal relations in solidarity and mutual love.

Such relationships play out, above all, in the sphere of our ecclesial communities, so that the image of the Church as icon of the Trinity is ever clearer. But also in every social relationship, from the family to friendships, to the work environment: they are all concrete occasions offered to us in order to build relationships that are increasingly humanly rich, capable of reciprocal respect and disinterested love.

The Feast of the Most Holy Trinity invites us to commit ourselves in daily events to being leaven of communion, consolation and mercy. In this mission, we are sustained by the strength that the Holy Spirit gives us: he takes care of the flesh of humanity, wounded by injustice, oppression, hate and avarice.

The Virgin Mary, in her humility, welcomed the Father’s will and conceived the Son by the Holy Spirit. May she, Mirror of the Trinity, help us to strengthen our faith in the trinitarian mystery and to translate it in to action with choices and attitudes of love and unity


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



* * * * *


For reflections on the Solemnity of the  Most Holy Trinity  

 by Pope Benedict XVI,
please scroll down to the bottom of this page.


* * * * *