Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items:
 News Briefs
 Word To Life
 More News:
 Special Sections:
 2007 in review
 Inside the Curia
 2006 in review
 Vatican II at 40
 John Paul II
 Other Items:
 Client Area
 Did You Know...

 The whole CNS
 public Web site
 headlines, briefs
 stories, etc,
 represents less
 than one percent
 of the daily news

 Get all the news!

 If you would like
 more information
 about the
 Catholic News
 Service daily
 news report,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 (c) 2006
 Catholic News
 Conference of
 Catholic Bishops.

 CNS Story:

POPE-CORPUSCHRISTI May-22-2008 (530 words) With photos to come. xxxi

Eucharist unites, strengthens, pope says at Corpus Christi Mass

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- The Eucharist has the power to unite people, strengthen them and remind them that only God is worthy of worship, said Pope Benedict XVI at a Mass marking the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

The May 22 Mass at Rome's Basilica of St. John Lateran was followed by a traditional Corpus Christi procession through the streets of Rome to the Basilica of St. Mary Major for eucharistic adoration and Benediction.

The pope rode in a canopied flatbed truck to St. Mary's, kneeling in front of a monstrance with the Eucharist. Thousands of priests, seminarians, religious, altar servers, members of Catholic sodalities and the faithful accompanied the pope on foot.

In his homily at the Mass, the pope said the rites and rituals of the feast day explain what the feast is about: "First, we are gathered around the altar of the Lord to be together in his presence; second, there will be the procession, which is walking with the Lord"; and, finally, all the faithful will kneel before the Eucharist, honoring Jesus Christ who gave his life for the salvation of all.

Pope Benedict said the celebration of the Mass, gathering everyone around the same altar, is a reminder that all the faithful have been united into the body of Christ despite all their differences.

Unity is "the truth and the strength of the Christian revolution," he said. Around the Eucharist "people diverse on account of age, sex, social condition (and) political ideology" gather and become one, he said.

"The Eucharist can never be a private fact, reserved to people who have been chosen for their affinity or out of friendship," the pope said. "The Eucharist is (an act of) public worship, which has nothing esoteric or exclusive."

Pope Benedict said Catholics must always be vigilant to ensure that at every celebration of the Eucharist all Catholics are welcome, no matter their "differences of nationality, profession, social class or political ideas."

By walking in procession and following Jesus present in the Eucharist, he said, Catholics remind themselves that "the Lord Jesus liberates us from our paralysis, he makes us get up and proceed, he helps us take a step forward, then another."

Christ in the Eucharist gives people strength when they are feeling battered or uncomfortable, he said.

"The Eucharist is the sacrament of God, who does not leave us alone in our journey, but stands at our side and shows us the way," the pope said.

Finally, he said, kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist "is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today. Kneeling before the Eucharist is a profession of freedom: One who bows to Jesus cannot and must not prostrate himself before any earthly power, no matter how strong.

"To adore the body of Christ means to believe that there, in that piece of bread, there really is Christ who gives meaning to our lives, to the immense universe as well as to the smallest creature and to all of human history as well as to the briefest existence," the pope said.


Copyright (c) 2008 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250