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Pope Francis: Corpus Domini homily

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass being celebrated on the steps of Rome's cathedral Basilica of St. John Lateran on Thursday, to mark the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's prepared remarks, in their official English translation.

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« Do this in remembrance of me » (1 Cor 11 :24-25).

Twice the Apostle Paul, writing to the community in Corinth, recalls this command of Jesus in his account of the institution of the Eucharist.  It is the oldest testimony we have to the words of Christ at the Last Supper. 

“Do this”.  That is, take bread, give thanks and break it; take the chalice, give thanks, and share it.  Jesus gives the command to repeat this action by which he instituted the memorial of his own Pasch, and in so doing gives us his Body and his Blood.  This action reaches us today: it is the “doing” of the Eucharist which always has Jesus as its subject, but which is made real through our poor hands anointed by the Holy Spirit. 

“Do this”.  Jesus on a previous occasion asked his disciples to “do” what was so clear to him, in obedience to the will of the Father.  In the Gospel passage that we have just heard, Jesus says to the disciples in front of the tired and hungry crowds: “Give them something to eat yourselves” (Lk 9:13).  Indeed, it is Jesus who blesses and breaks the loaves and provides sufficient food to satisfy the whole crowd, but it is the disciples who offer the five loaves and two fish.  Jesus wanted it this way: that, instead of sending the crowd away, the disciples would put at his disposal what little they had.  And there is another gesture: the pieces of bread, broken by the holy and venerable hands of Our Lord, pass into the poor hands of the disciples, who distribute these to the people.  This too is the disciples “doing” with Jesus; with him they are able to “give them something to eat”.  Clearly this miracle was not intended merely to satisfy hunger for a day, but rather it signals what Christ wants to accomplish for the salvation of all mankind, giving his own flesh and blood (cf. Jn 6:48-58).  And yet this needs always to happen through those two small actions: offering the few loaves and fish which we have; receiving the bread broken by the hands of Jesus and giving it to all.

Breaking: this is the other word explaining the meaning of those words: “Do this in remembrance of me”.  Jesus was broken; he is broken for us.  And he asks us to give ourselves, to break ourselves, as it were, for others.  This “breaking bread” became the icon, the sign for recognizing Christ and Christians.  We think of Emmaus:  they knew him “in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35).  We recall the first community of Jerusalem:  “They held steadfastly… to the breaking of the bread” (Acts 2:42).  From the outset it is the Eucharist which becomes the centre and pattern of the life of the Church.  But we think also of all the saints – famous or anonymous – who have “broken” themselves, their own life, in order to “give something to eat” to their brothers and sisters.  How many mothers, how many fathers, together with the slices of bread they provide each day on the tables of their homes, have broken their hearts to let their children grow, and grow well!  How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated!  Where do they find the strength to do this?  It is in the Eucharist:  in the power of the Risen Lord’s love, who today too breaks bread for us and repeats: “Do this in remembrance of me”. 

May this action of the Eucharistic procession, which we will carry out shortly, respond to Jesus’ command.  An action to commemorate him; an action to give food to the crowds of today; an act to break open our faith and our lives as a sign of Christ’s love for this city and for the whole world. 

(from Vatican Radio)

In Reorganization plan, archdiocese offers $65 million for abuse victim remuneration

“We welcome the scrutiny of the court and all others involved,” Archbishop Bernard Hebda said of the plan at a May 24 press conference. “We believe it will show our commitment to a fair, just and timely resolution of all the claims made against us, especially for those who have been hurt by people in the Church.”

Cardinal Arinze: the joy of faith on Solemnity of Corpus Domini

(Vatican Radio) The Prefect-emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, shared a reflection with Vatican Radio for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

The central focus of Cardinal Arinze’s extended meditation was the abiding Eucharistic faith of the Church, and the great joy of Christians in giving witness to that faith – especially in the Eucharistic processions that mark the Feast of Corpus Christi here at Rome and in countless towns and cities around the world. “Everybody is there,” he exclaimed. “Flowers, singing – the excellent Eucharistic hymns that incorporate very much the faith of the Church in the Holy Eucharist – listen to them, sing them, read them,” he said. “It is just a wonderful feast.”

Click below to listen to Cardinal Arinze’s extended meditation

(from Vatican Radio)

Upon Child Victims Act expiration, bishops promise to protect kids, restore relationships

In a statement released May 25, the last day victims of past child sex abuse could file a civil claim under Minnesota’s Child Victims Act, the state’s Catholic bishops acknowledged the “painful reality of sexual abuse” that has come to the forefront during the last three years and promised not to be silent when an allegation of sexual abuse is made against a clergy member or someone else in the Church.

Digital Edition – May 26, 2016

A celebration of the installation of Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

Nine men prepare to be ordained priests

Nine men are scheduled to be ordained priests by Archbishop Bernard Hebda at a 10 a.m. Mass May 28 at the Cathedral of St. Paul. It will be the first time Archbishop will ordain priests in the archdiocese.

Pope calls for prayers for Syria, children gone missing around world

"It is the duty of everyone to protect children, most of all those exposed to a high risk of exploitation, trafficking and deviant behaviors," the pope said.

Archbishop: ArchSPM not shielding assets, accusations signal work needed to gain trust

“Let me be extremely clear: The archdiocese has disclosed all of its assets and followed all of the rules set forth by the court and all directives from the judge,” Archbishop Hebda said during a press conference on the lawn of his residence May 24.

Prayer is no magic wand; it strengthens faith in tough times, pope says

"Faced with the judge's indifference, the widow resorted to her only weapon -- to keep incessantly pestering him, presenting him with her appeal for justice," the pope said.

Pope Francis sends video message to Germany's 'Catholic Day'

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video message on Wednesday to participants in the 100th Katholikentag, or Catholic Day, taking place in Leipzig, Germany, from May 25th to 29th. First organised in 1848, this popular festival brings together Catholics, as well as people of other religious traditions, in dialogue with political, cultural and business leaders.

Philippa Hitchen reports: 

Speaking in German, a language he learnt during his student days, Pope Francis greeted participants and praised the good relations between Christians of different denominations in Germany.

Noting the title of this 100th Katholikentag, ‘Ecce homo’, or ‘Behold, the man’, the Pope said this theme shows us that it’s not exterior success that counts in life, but rather the ability to stop, to look and to be attentive to the needs of others.

Peace with Creation

Every person, the Pope said, wishes to live in peace with others, but this will only happen if we foster peace in our own hearts. These days, he said, so many people are in a constant hurry and tend to trample on everything around them, including our own environment. Instead, he said, we must take time to restore harmony with the world, with creation and also with our Creator.

A voice for the oppressed

Through contemplation and prayer, the Pope said, we can draw closer to God and see that as he shows love and mercy to us, so we are called to be merciful to each other. So often, he noted, we see people ill-treated and deprived of their dignity – the elderly, the sick, the unemployed and the refugees. Pope Francis concluded his message with a blessing for participants, urging them to find more time in their lives to give a voice to the poor and the oppressed.

(from Vatican Radio)