Bread for the World

“Those who eat the Bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent before those who, even in our days, lack daily bread,” said Pope Benedict in his Corpus Christi greeting to those gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday (the English translation of which I read on Zenit yesterday), making reference to the “grave and growing problem” that so many people “are barely able to provide for themselves and their children.”

In his talk, he characterized as “the beauty of Christian truth” that fact that, in Jesus, God “became ‘a grain of wheat’ to be sown in our earth, in the furrow of our history; he became bread to be broken, shared, eaten; he became our food to give us life, his own divine life.”  But he emphasized that the Eucharist “is the school of charity and solidarity.”  It is not enough to simply pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”  Rather, it is necessary to follow Christ’s example, working to find ways “to multiply the five loaves and two fish” so that no one lacks the necessities of life.

Not only on the feast of Corpus Christi, but each celebration of the Eucharist should be for us “an occasion to grow in this concrete attention to our brothers [and sisters], especially the poor.”  How that manifests for different people will vary, but it is a responsibility we all share as members of this one Body of Christ.

The full text of the Pope’s message can be found here.