Pope Francis holds the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance during the observance of the feast of Corpus Christi in Rome May 30.

CNS PHOTO | PAUL HARING

Pope Francis holds the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance during the observance of the feast of Corpus Christi in Rome May 30.

June 10, 2013
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

ROME – The Eucharist should be a moment of communion with the Lord and also with "my many brothers and sisters who share at this same altar," Pope Francis said May 30.

Gathering around Jesus, listening to his word and being nourished by him transforms the multitude of anonymous individuals into a community of faith, the pope said in his homily for the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

In that community, people share who they are and what they have. The same dynamic should be at work today when Catholics gather at Mass, he said.

The pope celebrated the Mass outside the Basilica of St. John Lateran, then – on foot – joined a two-km candlelight Corpus Christi procession.

Pope Francis focused his homily on the Gospel of Luke's account of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

The pope said he is "always struck" by the disciples asking Jesus to send the crowd away to find food and lodging and Jesus telling him, "Give them some food yourselves."

"In the face of the crowd's needs, this is the disciples' solution: Everyone takes care of himself; dismiss the crowd.

"Many times we Christians have that same temptation; we don't take on the needs of others, but dismiss them with a compassionate 'May God help you' or a not-so-compassionate 'Good luck.'"

Jesus' solution, though, was to ask God's blessing on the little food available, then to have the disciples share it with crowd, he said.

What Jesus encouraged the disciples to do was an act of "solidarity," he said. That act was nothing other than "placing at God's disposal what little we have, our humble abilities, because only in sharing and in giving will our lives be fruitful."