Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Rome’s Casal Bertone neighborhood on the feast of Corpus Christi, and urges area residents to speak a word of blessing and share whatever they have with one another.
“A blessing releases a cascade of goodness.”
With those words, Pope Francis invited Catholics living in the Roman neighborhood to multiply what they have by helping their brothers and sisters in need.
In his homily at Mass on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Pope reflected on the verbs “to speak” and “to give”.
Speak and bless
To speak, he said, “is to bless… Everything begins with blessing: words of goodness create a history of goodness.”
Pope Francis said the act of blessing is a gift, since we are doing something for another person, rather than ourselves.
Blessing, he noted, consists not in trite phrases but it speaking with love. “The Eucharist is itself a school of blessing. God blesses us, his beloved children, and thus encourages us to keep going.”
The Holy Father lamented the ease with which people vent their anger and utter words of contempt and insult.
“Let us not let ourselves be overcome by bitterness, for we eat the Bread that contains all sweetness within it.” He said God’s people “love to praise, not complain” since we were created “to bless, not to grumble”.
Pope Francis went on to reflect on how Jesus gave the bread to the disciples in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes to feed several thousand people.
This miracle, he said, is not a magic trick. Jesus trusts in the Father. “And those five loaves never run out.”
The Holy Father said Jesus is teaching his disciples to give, even if what we possess is limited. “Whatever we have can bear fruit if we give it away,” he said.
In the Eucharist, he pointed out, we find “God Himself contained in a piece of bread”, inspiring us to give ourselves to others.
Sharing with our neighbor
Finally, Pope Francis told the residents of Casal Bertone that the city of Rome “hungers for love and care” and that it “suffers from decay and neglect”, with so many elderly people living alone and so many young people eking out a living.
Jesus invites each of us, he concluded, to give whatever we can manage to help those in need.
“The Lord comes to our streets in order to speak a blessing for us and to give us courage. He asks that we too be blessing and gift for others.”