A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

Saint Paul wrote, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body” (1 Corinthians 10:17). We are a community nourished by the body and blood of Christ. Communion with the body of Christ is an effective sign of unity, of communion, of sharing. One cannot participate in the Eucharist without committing oneself to mutual fraternity which is sincere. But the Lord knows well that our human strength alone is not enough for this. On the contrary, he knows that among his disciples there will always be the temptation of rivalry, envy, prejudice, division. We are all aware of these things. For this reason, he left us the Sacrament of His real, tangible and permanent presence, so that, in remaining united to him, we may always receive the gift of fraternal love. “Abide in my love” (John 15:9), Jesus said. And this is possible thanks to the Eucharist. To abide in friendship, in love.

May the Blessed Virgin help us to always welcome with wonder and gratitude the great gift that Jesus gave us by leaving us the Sacrament of His Body and His Blood.

Angelus Address, Sunday 14 June 2020

Look at the Cross

Commenting on John 12:20-33: Jesus reveals that for every man and woman who wants to find him, he is the hidden seed ready to die in order to bear much fruit. As if to say, if you wish to know me, if you wish to understand me, look at the grain of wheat that dies in soil, that is, look at the cross.

The sign of the Cross comes to mind, which over the centuries has become the symbol par excellence of Christians.
Even today, those who wish to “see Jesus,” perhaps coming from countries and cultures where Christianity is not well-known, what do they see first? What is the most common sign they encounter?  The Crucifix, the Cross. In churches, in the homes of Christians, even worn on their persons. The important thing is that the sign be consistent with the Gospel --  the cross cannot but express love, service, unreserved self-giving. Only in this way is it truly the “tree of life,” of overabundant life.

To see Jesus

Many people, often without saying so, implicitly would like to “see Jesus,” to meet him, to know him. This is how we understand the great responsibility we Christians have. We must respond with the witness of a life that is given in service, a life that takes upon itself the style of God – closeness, compassion and tenderness – and is given in service. It means sowing seeds of love, not with fleeting words, but through concrete, simple and courageous examples, with gestures of love. Then the Lord, with his grace, makes us bear fruit, even when the soil is dry due to misunderstandings, difficulty or persecution, or claims of legalism or clerical moralism. This is barren soil.

Precisely then, in trials and in solitude, while the seed is dying, that is the moment in which life blossoms, to bear ripe fruit in due time. It is in this intertwining of death and life that we can experience the joy and true fruitfulness of love, which always, I repeat, is given in God’s style: closeness, compassion, tenderness.

May the Virgin Mary help us to follow Jesus, to walk, strong and joyful, on the path of service, so that the love of Christ may shine in our every attitude and become more and more the style of our daily life.

World Water Day

Tomorrow is World Water Day, which invites us to reflect on the value of this wonderful and irreplaceable gift of God. For us believers, ‘sister water’ is not merchandise -- it is a universal symbol and is the source of life and health. So very many brothers and sisters have access to too little and perhaps polluted water. It is necessary to assure potable water and hygienic services to all. I thank and encourage those who, with diverse professionalism and responsibilities, work for this very important aim. I think, for example, of the University of Water, in my homeland, of those who work to bring it forward and to make the importance of water understood.

I greet all of you who are linked via the media, with a particular remembrance of sick and lonely people. I wish you a happy Sunday. Please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch! Arrivederci!   

Angelus Address, Sunday 21 March 2021
Source: vatican.va

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