The following is the English translation of the homily given by His Holiness, Pope Francis on Sunday June 22nd, at St. Peter’s Square, prior to the recitation of the Angelus:.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Good morning!
The feast of the Body and Blood of Christ is being celebrated this Sunday in Italy and in numerous other Countries, often making use of the Latin terms– Corpus Domini or Corpus Christi. The ecclesial community gathers around the Eucharist to adore the most precious treasure that Jesus left us.
The Gospel of John provides the discourse on the “bread of life”, held by Jesus in the Synagogue of Capernaum, where he affirms, “I am the living bread come down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (Jn 6:51). Jesus underlines that he has not come into this world to offer something else, but to offer himself, his life, as food for those who have faith in Him. This our communion with the Lord obliges us, his disciples, to imitate him, making our existence, through what we do, bread broken for others, as the Teacher has broken the bread that is truly his flesh. This means for us charitable conduct to our next-door neighbor thus showing the attitude of giving life for others.
Every time that we participate in Holy Mass and we are nurtured by the Body of Christ, the presence of Jesus and of the Holy Spirit acts in us, forming our hearts, communicating an interior personality to us that equates into living according to the Gospel. Above all, docility to the Word of God, then fraternity amongst ourselves, the courage of Christian witness, creative charity, the capacity to give hope to the discouraged, to welcome the excluded. In this way the Eucharist cultivates a mature Christian way of living. The charity of Christ, welcomed with an open heart, changes us, transforms us, renders us capable of loving not according to human standards, constantly limited, but according to the measure of God. And what is the measure of God? Without measure! The measure of God is without measure. Everything! Everything! Everything!
It’s impossible to determine the love of God: it is without measure! And so we end up being capable of loving even those who do not love us: and this is challenging. To love somebody who doesn’t love us … It’s challenging! Since if we know that someone doesn’t like us, then we likewise have the tendency to bear ill will. However no! We must love even those who do not love us! Opposing evil with good, with pardon, with sharing, with welcome. Thanks to Jesus and to his Spirit, even our life becomes “bread broken” for our brothers. And living like this we discover true joy! The joy of making of oneself a gift, of reciprocating the great gift that we have first received, without merit of our own. This is beautiful: our life is made a gift! This is to imitate Jesus.
I want to remind you of these two things. First: the measure of God’s love is love without measure. Is this clear? And our life, with the love of Jesus, received in the Eucharist, is made a gift. As was the life of Jesus. Always remember these two things: the measure of the love of God is love without measure. And following Jesus, we, with the Eucharist, make of our life a gift.
Jesus, Bread of eternal life, came down from heaven and was made flesh thanks to the faith of Mary Most Holy. After having borne him with ineffable love in herself, she followed him faithfully unto the Cross and to the resurrection. Let us ask Our Lady to help us find the beauty of the Eucharist, to make it the center of our life, specifically at Sunday Mass and in love.