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A Message from Pope Francis on the

Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

[Corpus Christi]

In the Last Supper, Jesus gives His Body and his Blood by means of the bread and the wine, to leave us the memorial of His sacrifice of infinite love. With this viaticum full to overflowing with grace, the disciples have everything they need for their long journey through history, to extend the kingdom of God to everyone. Light and strength will be for them the gift that Jesus made of Himself, sacrificing Himself voluntarily on the Cross. This Bread of Life has come down to us! The Church is in unending awe before this reality – an awe that endlessly nourishes contemplation, adoration, memory. This is seen in a beautiful text of today’s Liturgy, the Responsory of the second reading of the Office of Readings, which says: “See in this bread the body of Christ which hung upon the cross, and in this cup the blood which flowed from His side. Take His body, then, and eat it; take His blood and drink it, and you will become His members. The body of Christ is the bond which unites you to him: eat it, or you will have no part in him. The blood is the price he paid for your redemption: drink it, lest you despair of your sinfulness.”

We are torn from Him when we are not obedient to the Word of the Lord, when we do not live brotherhood between us, when we race to occupy the first places, when we can’t find the courage to witness to charity, when we are unable to offer hope. The Eucharist allows us to be not torn from Him, for it is the bond of communion, is the fulfillment of the Covenant, a living sign of the love of Christ who humbled and annihilated Himself for us, that we might remain united. By participating in the Eucharist and by feeding on it, we are inserted into a way that does not admit divisions. The Christ present in our midst, in the signs of bread and wine, requires that the power of love exceed every laceration, and at the same time that it become communion with the poor, support for the weak, fraternal attention to those who are struggling to carry the weight of everyday life.

Jesus shed his blood as a ransom and as a lavacrum – a cleansing agent, that we might be purified of all sins:  in order that we fall not into cowardice, despair of sinfulness, that we not become weak, let us look to him, let us drink deep draughts from His source, that we might be preserved from the risk of corruption. Then shall we experience the grace of a transformation: we will remain always poor sinners, but the Blood of Christ will deliver us from our sins and give us back our dignity. Without merit of our own, with sincere humility, we can bring to our brethren the love of our Lord and Savior. We will be His eyes that go in search of Zacchaeus and of the Magdalene; we will be His hand who helps the sick in body and spirit; we will be His heart that loves those in need of reconciliation and understanding.

Thus does the Eucharist make present the Covenant that sanctifies us, purifies us and unites us in marvelous communion with God.

Today, the feast of Corpus Domini, we have the joy not only of celebrating this mystery, but also of praising Him and singing in the streets of our city. May the procession we will make at the end of the Mass, express our gratitude for all the journey that God has allowed us to make through  the desert of our poverty, to take us out of slavery, by nourishing us with His love through the Sacrament of his Body and the Blood.

In a little while we shall walk along the way, let us perceive ourselves in communion with our many brothers and sisters who do not have the freedom to express their faith in the Lord Jesus. Let us feel ourselves united with them, let us sing with them, praise with them, adore with them. And we venerate in our hearts those brothers and sisters from whom the sacrifice of their lives has been required for fidelity to Christ: let their blood, united to that of the Lord, be a pledge of peace and reconciliation for the whole world.

 



Year of Mercy Prayer

 

Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us to be merciful like the
heavenly Father,
and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.
Show us your face and we will be saved.
Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew
from being enslaved by money;
the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness
only in created things;
made Peter weep after his betrayal,
and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.
Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us,
the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:
"If you knew the gift of God!"


You are the visible face of the invisible Father,
of the God who manifests his power above all by
forgiveness and mercy:
let the Church be your visible face in the world, its
Lord risen and glorified.
You willed that your ministers would also be
clothed in weakness
in order that they may feel compassion for those
in ignorance and error:
let everyone who approaches them feel sought
after, loved, and forgiven by God.
Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us
with its anointing,
so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace
from the Lord,
and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may
bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession
of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father
and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

Amen.

How your gift to Our Catholic Appeal

helps others


Your gifts to Our Catholic Appeal are the sole source of funding for 28 ministries that benefit every parish, mission and school in our diocese. In addition, your gifts provide critical support for outreach programs such as Catholic Charities of Central Florida, Hope CommUnity Center, and our schools in the Diocese of San Juan de la Maguana in the Dominican Republic.  

Because of your generosity, we are able to:

  • support 35 seminarians in their formation
  • provide food, medical care and housing to those in need
  • organize spiritual enrichment opportunities for both the lay community and our clergy
  • train parish catechists and certify new lay ecclesial ministers
  • evangelize through diocesan-wide media
  • meet with elected officials to discuss issues that affect all people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike



Our Catholic Appeal 2016

GOAL for St. Joseph Catholic Church, Palm Bay:                                                   $159,402.00

Raised to date:                                  $141.560.70

Over/Under GOAL:                             ($17,841.30)



For more information on Our Catholic Appeal, visit http://cfocf.org/OCA