Pope Calls Eucharist History's Greatest Revolution
Says It Breaks Down National, Economic and Social Barriers
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VATICAN CITY, MAY 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says the Eucharist brought history's deepest and most profound revolution.
The Pope affirmed this today in his homily for the feast of Corpus Christi in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. After the Mass, he led a Eucharistic procession through the streets of Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
The Eucharist has brought a social revolution, he affirmed, since believers gather before it, leaving aside differences in economic or social class, political convictions, sex and even preferences.
His listeners were living proof of his words: The congregation included Missionaries of Charity, boy scouts, cardinals, Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, pilgrims from around the world, and even some homeless people curious about the celebration.
Meditating on the Eucharistic mystery, the Holy Father cited the phrase from St. Paul: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Truth and strength
"In these words," said the Pontiff, "is perceived the truth and the strength of the Christian revolution, the deepest revolution of human history, which is experienced precisely gathered around the Eucharist. Here people of different ages, sex, social condition and political ideas gather."
"The Eucharist can never be a private event, reserved to people chosen on the basis of affinity or friendship," he added. "The Eucharist is a public worship that has nothing of esotericism or exclusivity.
"We have not decided with whom we want to gather; we have come and found ourselves together with each other, gathered by faith and called to become one body, sharing the only Bread that is Christ.
"We are united beyond our differences of nationality, profession, social class, political ideas: We open ourselves to each other to become one in him."
In fact, Benedict XVI affirmed, "from the beginning, this has been the characteristic of Christianity, visibly fulfilled around the Eucharist. And it is necessary to keep watch always so that the temptations of particularism, even if with good intentions, do not head in the opposite direction."
The feast of Corpus Christi, he concluded, "reminds us above all: To be Christians means to come together from all parts to be in the presence of the only Lord and to be one in him and with him."