Pope at Corpus Christi Mass: ‘War-torn world needs aroma of bread of love’

By Devin Watkins, 4 June 2024
Pope Francis during the Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St Mary Major on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in June 2024. Image: Vatican Media


Pope Francis presides at Mass on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, and reflects on the importance of the Eucharist in bringing peace to our hearts and our war-torn world.

“God does not abandon us but always seeks, waits for, and accompanies us, even to the point of placing Himself, helpless, into our hands”.

Pope Francis offered that certainty in his homily at Mass in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, as the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, known as Corpus Christi Sunday.

The Mass concluded with a Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

Eucharistic attitude teaches appreciation

In his homily at Mass, the Holy Father focused on the Eucharistic bread and spoke about the three themes of “thanksgiving, remembrance, and presence.”

Bread, he noted, is a food of daily life, through which brought Himself intimately close to us.

The Eucharist, added Pope Francis, teaches us to be thankful for God’s many gifts in our lives, by properly using our talents and skills.

“This is our mission to give thanks” asked the Pope. “While we could add even many more ways to give thanks, these are important ‘Eucharistic’ attitudes since they teach us to appreciate the value of what we do and offer.”

True freedom in service

Pope Francis turned to the importance of remembering Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection.

In giving us His Body and Blood, Jesus taught us to give ourselves as an offering to people in need and those around us.

“There are some who say that true freedom means thinking only about ourselves, enjoying life doing whatever we want without regard for others,” said the Pope. “This is not freedom but a hidden slavery.”

True freedom, he said, is found when we bend down to serve others, “motivated solely by love.”

Streets filled with bread of love

Reflecting on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, the Pope pointed out that God never abandons us but rather waits for us to accept Him in the form of Bread.

“His real presence also invites us to be close to our brothers and sisters wherever love calls us,” said Pope Francis.

Our world, he added, desperately needs the Bread of the Eucharist, so that streets filled with rubble and the destruction of war may return to peaceful places filled with the smell of freshly baked bread.

“We urgently need to bring back to our world the good, fresh aroma of the bread of love, to continue tirelessly to hope and rebuild what hatred destroys,” he said.

Inviting others to follow Christ

In conclusion, Pope Francis said the Eucharistic Procession from St. John Lateran to St. Mary Major is not a flashy expression of faith.

“We are not doing this to show off,” he concluded, “or to flaunt our faith, but to invite everyone to participate, in the Bread of the Eucharist, in the new life that Jesus has given us.”

With thanks to Vatican News and Devin Watkins, where this article originally appeared.


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