VATICAN CITY (VIS) - At midday Sunday, before praying the Angelus with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope dedicated some remarks to the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, which is being celebrated today in various countries and "in which the Sacrament of the Lord's Body is borne in solemn procession".
At the heart of this feast, the Pope explained, "is the sign of the bread, fruit of the earth and the heavens. Hence the Eucharistic bread is the visible sign of He in Whom heavens and earth, God and man, were joined and made one".
"The Solemnity of Corpus Christi is intimately associated with Easter and with Pentecost: its premise is the death and resurrection of Jesus and the effusion of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore it is directly linked to the Feast of the Blessed Trinity, which was celebrated last Sunday. Only because God Himself is a 'God of relation' is it possible to have a relationship with Him; and only because He is love can He love and be loved. Thus Corpus Christi is an expression of God, it is evidence that God is love. In a unique way this feast speaks to us of divine love, of what it is and what it does".
"Love transforms all things", said Benedict XVI, "and hence we can understand why, at the heart of today's Feast of Corpus Christi, lies the mystery of transubstantiation, the sign of Jesus-Charity that transforms the world. By looking at Him and adoring Him, we are saying: yes, love exists, and because it exists things can change for the better and we may hope.
"It is the hope that arises from the love of Christ that gives us the strength to live and to face up to difficulties", the Holy Father added. "That is why we sing as we carry the Blessed Sacrament in procession; we sing and we praise God Who revealed Himself by hiding Himself in the sign of the broken bread. We all need this Bread because the journey towards freedom, justice and peace is long and tiring".
He then called upon the faithful to imagine "with how much faith and love the Virgin must have received and adored the Blessed Eucharist in her heart. For her, each time was like reliving the entire mystery of her Son Jesus, from conception to resurrection". Then, after recalling how John Paul II had described Mary as "Eucharistic woman", Pope Benedict concluded by encouraging people to learn from her "to renew our communion with the Body of Christ, in order to love one another as He loved us".