A Message from Pope Francis on the
Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ
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
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.
How your gift to Our Catholic Appeal
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:
Raised to date: $141.560.70
Over/Under GOAL: ($17,841.30)
For more information on Our Catholic Appeal, visit http://cfocf.org/OCA