Pope Francis: Eucharist Not Just a Commemoration but Christ's Total Sharing of Himself
Continues Catechesis on Sacrament During General Audience
Vatican City, (ZENIT.org) | 1611 hits
“Let us live the Eucharist with a spirit of faith and prayer, of forgiveness, of penance, of communitary joy, of concern for the needy and for the needs of so many brothers and sisters, in the certainty that the Lord will fulfill that which he promised us. eternal life.”
This was the invitation made by Pope Francis today to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly General Audience.
The Holy Father continued his catechetical series on the Sacraments, focusing again on the Eucharist. While last week he reflected on the communion with Christ that the Eucharist brings us, the Pope concentrated on our personal relationship with the Eucharist.
“How do we live the Eucharist?” he asked the faithful. "Is it only a moment of feasting, a consolidated tradition, an occasion to find oneself? Or is it to feel all right or something else?”
“In the Eucharist, Christ always acts again, giving the gift of Himself that He gave on the Cross. His whole life is an act of total sharing of Himself out of love; for this reason he loved being with the disciples and with those people he was able to know.”
The Holy Father went on to say that in participating in Holy Mass, which is comprised of many different people, through this same love of Christ, we become brothers and sisters.
Another important aspect of the Eucharist the Holy Father reflected on was the grace that comes from being forgiven and the willingness to forgive. One who goes to Mass does not go to feel better than others but rather to be “received and regenerated by the mercy of God.”
“If each one of us does not feel in need of the mercy of God, does not feel as a sinner, it is better that they don’t go to Mass,” the Pope said. We go to Mass because we are sinners and we want to receive the forgiveness of God, to participate in his redemption, in his forgiveness.”
“That ‘I Confess’ that we say at the beginning [of Mass] is not a ‘pro forma’, it is a true act of penance.”
Reflecting on his final aspect of the Eucharist, the Pope said that is not solely a commemoration of the Last Supper, but rather an action of Christ in our lives. The mission and identity of the Church comes from this Sacrament.
“Through the Eucharist, Christ wants to enter into our existence and permeate it with His Grace, so that in every Christian community there may be a coherence between liturgy and life,” he said.
Concluding his catechesis, Pope Francis called on the faithful to live the Sacrament of the Eucharist with a spirit of faith and prayer, in “the certainty that the Lord will fulfill that which he has promised: eternal life!” (J.A.E.)