For the observance of the feast of Corpus Christi on Sunday, Pope Francis said the Eucharist helps us to remember everything that Christ has done for us, in particular his great love for us.
Corpus Christi reminds us that in the midst of our lives the Lord comes to meet us “with a loving ‘fragility,’ which is the Eucharist,” the Pope said June 18.
“In the Bread of Life, the Lord comes to us, making himself a humble meal that lovingly heals our memory, wounded by life’s frantic pace of life. The Eucharist is the memorial of God’s love.”
The Pope gave his homily at a Mass held at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome. Following the Mass, he led a Eucharistic procession across Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, ending with solemn Benediction with the Holy Eucharist.
Today, the word of God says to each one of us: “Remember!” Francis proclaimed.
In this way we can be strengthened, just as the memory of the Lord’s deeds guided and strengthened God’s people when they were in the desert. Remembering everything that the Lord has done for us is the foundation of our own “personal history of salvation,” he said.
“Remembrance is essential for faith, as water is for a plant. A plant without water cannot stay alive and bear fruit. Nor can faith, unless it drinks deeply of the memory of all that the Lord has done for us.”
“Memory is important,” he went on, “because it allows us to dwell in love, to be mindful, never forgetting who it is who loves us and whom we are called to love in return.”
But today, our memories are weakened by our constant activity and business, the Pope pointed out.
Our lives are such a whirl of people and events that we no longer retain memories. But this leaves us at risk of only living on the surface of things and never going deeper, he said, “without the broader vision that reminds us who we are and where we are going.”
“This is why the Eucharistic commemoration does us so much good: it is not an abstract, cold and superficial memory, but a living remembrance that comforts us with God’s love.”
Francis explained that when we receive the Eucharist, our hearts have the opportunity to become overwhelmed with the certainty of Christ’s love for us, the Eucharist giving us a memory that is grateful, free, and patient.
It’s a grateful memory, he said, because it reminds us that we are children of the Father, who loves and nourishes us. And it gives us a patient memory, because even in the midst of trial we know that Christ remains in us.
It’s free memory, because Christ’s love and forgiveness can heal the wounds in our past, freeing us from the remembrance of past wrongs.
Additionally, he said how the Eucharist encourages us – that “even on the roughest road, we are not alone; the Lord does not forget us and whenever we turn to him, he restores us with his love.”
The Pope concluded by drawing on St. Paul’s words in the day’s first reading, which says: “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”
Thus, the Eucharist also reminds us that we are all one body; it isn’t a sacrament just “for me.” It is for many, all the faithful, he said, who together form one body. “The Eucharist is the sacrament of unity,” he stated.
“Now, in experiencing this Eucharist, let us adore and thank the Lord for this greatest of gifts: the living memorial of his love, that makes us one body and leads us to unity.”