Pope Francis said that Catholics must place the Eucharist at the center of their lives to transform their relationships with God and their neighbors. He pointed out: “If you are the same at the end of Mass as you were at the beginning, something is wrong. The Eucharist is the presence of Jesus, it is deeply transforming. Jesus comes and must transform you. By offering Himself in the Eucharist, Christ invites us so that our lives may be nourished by Him and may nourish the lives of our brothers and sisters.” The Pope continued that the Eucharistic celebration is an encounter with the Risen Jesus. At the same time, it is a way of opening ourselves to the world as He taught us. Each time Catholics participate in the Eucharist, Jesus comes and gives us the strength to love like He loved because the Eucharist gives us the courage to encounter others, to go out of ourselves and to open ourselves to others with love.

The Pope stressed that the Eucharist is God’s response to the deepest hunger of the human heart, the hunger for authentic life, for, in the Eucharist, Christ Himself is truly in our midst, to nourish, console and sustain us on our journey. The bishop lamented that unfortunately, today many Catholics believe that the Eucharist is more a symbol than the reality of the Lord’s presence and love. He emphasized that the Eucharist is more than a symbol; it is the real and loving presence of the Lord. He is praying that Catholics may place at the center of their lives the Eucharistic celebration which transforms human relationships and opens up an encounter with God and their brothers and sisters.

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