Eucharist frees the faithful from egocentrism, prompts solidarity, says Pope

As he celebrated Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi on June 23, Pope Benedict XVI said that the day’s traditional Eucharistic procession through the streets of Rome was a reminder “that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us to the kingdom of heaven.”

The Eucharist is not ordinary food, the Pope observed, because “while bodily food is assimilated by and helps sustain our organism, the Eucharist is a different kind of bread. We do not assimilate it; rather, it assimilates us to itself so that we are conformed to Jesus Christ, become limbs of His Body, a single thing with Him.”

In the Eucharist, the Pope continued, we are “freed from egocentrism.” Through the sacrament, the faithful are united to their neighbors: “Those who recognize Jesus in the consecrated Host recognize Him in their suffering brothers and sisters, in the hungry and thirsty, in the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned; they are attentive to everyone and take concrete steps to help those in need.”

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