Wednesday, February 12, 2014
In Wednesday's general audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Sacraments, focusing specifically on the Eucharist.
He outlined three points where the Eucharist plays a central role in Christian life. First, he explained, it affects the way people relate to one another. Secondly, through the Eucharist, both forgiveness and a call to forgive is experienced. Thirdly, the Eucharist nourishes a community through the Word and Life of Christ.
Pope Francis then added that the Eucharist is not a mere memory that simply honors Jesus. Rather, he explained, it's an act and gift from God.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Continuing our catechesis on the Sacraments of Initiation, I wish to reflect on how we live the Eucharist in our daily lives, as a Church and individual Christians. First, the Eucharist affects the way we see others. In his life, Christ manifested his love by being with people, and by sharing their desires and problems.
So too the Eucharist brings us together with others – young and old, poor and affluent, neighbors and visitors. The Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters, and to see in them the face of Christ. Second, in the Eucharist we experience the forgiveness of God and the call to forgive.
We celebrate the Eucharist not because we are worthy, but because we recognize our need for God’s mercy, incarnate in Jesus Christ. In the Eucharist, we renew the gift of the Body and Blood of Christ for the remission of sins, and our hearts are enlarged to receive and show mercy. Third, in the Eucharistic celebration, we are nourished as the Christian community by Christ’s Word and Life.
It is from the Eucharist that the Church receives continually her identity and mission. It is in our celebration that Christ fills us with his grace, so that our lives may be consonant with our worship of God in the Liturgy. Let us live the Eucharist in a spirit of faith and prayer, with the certainty that the Lord will bring to fulfillment all that he has promised.
Speaker: I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Denmark, Hong Kong and the United States. May Jesus Christ confirm you in faith and make you witnesses of his love and mercy to all people. God bless you all!