· Pope Francis asks Christians not to be overcome by competitiveness, arrogance and mediocrity ·
“The Eucharist is not a prize for the good, but is strength for the weak, for sinners”, the only true antidote capable of freeing mankind from corruption. Late in the afternoon on Thursday, 4 June, celebrating the Mass for Corpus Domini on the parvis of the Basilica of St John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome, before the Eucharistic procession to the Church of St Mary Major, Pope Francis once again gave a stern admonition against the danger of corruption.
In his usual fashion, the Pontiff enhanced his prepared text with several off-the-cuff remarks, cautioning against a twofold threat, summarized by the words “to have no part in Him” and “to despair”. Regarding the first phrase, he emphasized that we have no part in Jesus “when we do not live in fraternity among ourselves, when we compete to be in first place” and “when we do not find the courage to be witnesses of charity”. On the contrary, “the Eucharist keeps us from having no part in him”. Through the Eucharist, “being nourished of him, we are included in a journey which admits no division”. Because, Pope Francis explained, Christ “commands that the power of love overcome every laceration, and at the same time that it also become communion with the poorest, support for the weak, fraternal attention to those who struggle to bear the weight of daily life, and are at risk of losing their faith”.
With regard to the second term, the Pope highlighted that it means “to water down our Christian dignity”, in other words “allowing ourselves to be undermined by the idolatries of our time: appearances, consumption, egocentrism; but also competitiveness, arrogance”, and “never admitting to mistakes or to being in need”. All this, he said, “leads us to despair, making us mediocre, lukewarm, bland, pagan Christians”. From here came the exhortation that we drink at the font of the Blood of Christ in order “to be shielded from the risk of corruption. Thus we will feel the grace of transformation: we will always be poor sinners, but the Blood of Christ will free us from our sins and restore our dignity”.
St. Peter’s Square
Nov. 18, 2018
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