25 May 2007
In the Eucharist, we contemplate the sacrament of this living synthesis of the law: Christ gives us, with himself, the full realization of the love for God and the love for our brothers. And this love of his, he communicates to us when we are nourished by his Body and Blood.
Whoever receives Christ in the reality of this Body and Blood cannot keep this gift to himself, but is impelled to share it in courageous witness of the Gospel, in service to brothers in difficulty, in forgiveness for offenses. For some, moreover, the Eucharist is the seed of a specific call to leave everything to go and proclaim Christ to those who still do not know him.
This is a gift of love that is truly worth more than all the rest of my life. That day [First Communion] I made the promise: "Lord, I always want to be with You, but above all I want You to be with me."
Bread and wine become his Body and Blood. But it must not stop there, on the contrary, the process of transformation must now gather momentum. The Body and Blood of Christ are given to us so that we ourselves will be transformed in our turn. We are to become the Body of Christ, his own flesh and blood. We all eat the one bread, and this means that we ourselves become one. In this way, adoration, as we said earlier, becomes union. God no longer simply stands before us, as the one who is totally Other. He is within us, and we are in him.
In their hearts, people always and everywhere have somehow expected a change, a transformation of the world. Here now is the central act of transformation that alone can truly renew the world: violence is transformed into love, and death into life. Since this act transmutes death into love, death as such is already conquered from within, the resurrection is already present in it. Death is, so to speak, mortally wounded, so that it can no longer have the last world.
By carrying the Eucharist through the streets and squares, we wish to submerge the bread descended from heaven in the everyday of our lives; we want Jesus to walk where we walk; to live where we live. Our world, our lives, must become his temple.
-Angelus Address, 18 June 2006
The Eucharist is, in fact, the "treasure" of the Church, the precious heritage that her Lord has left her. And the Church guards this heritage with the greatest care, celebrating it daily in the holy Mass, adoring it in churches and chapels, distributing it to the sick, and as viaticum to those on their last journey.
In the sacred Host, he is present, the true treasure, always waiting for us. Only by adoring this presence do we learn to receive him properly - we learn the reality of communion, we learn the Eucharistic celebration from the inside.
21 May 2007
Life comes to us from being loved by him who is life; it comes to us from living-with and loving-with him. I, but no longer I: This is the way of the cross, the way that "crosses over" a life simply closed in on the I, thereby opening up the road towards true and lasting joy.
"Eternal life," however, does not mean for us Christians simply a life that lasts forever, but rather a new quality of existence fully immersed in God's love, which frees us from evil and death and which puts us in an everlasting communion with all the brothers and sisters who share in the same love.
Feeding the Lord's flock, therefore, is a ministry of vigilant love that demands our total dedication, to the last drop of energy and, if necessary, the sacrifice of our lives.