• General Audience

Pope calls for solidarity, walks Corpus Christi procession

2013-05-31 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A crowd of about 20,000 gathered for an outdoor mass with Pope Francis on Thursday at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the day’s reading from the Gospel of St. Luke, which recounts how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. The Gospel, he said, recalls three key words—discipleship, fellowship and sharing—and calls us to solidarity.

“Jesus speaks in silence in the Mystery of the Eucharist,” he said, “and every time reminds us that to follow Him means to come out of ourselves and make of our own lives, not a possession, but a gift to Him and to others.”

“Faced with the neediness of the crowd, the solution of the disciples (in the Gospel) is that every man should take care of himself… How many times do we Christians have this temptation?” he asked his listeners. “We do not care for the needs of others, dismissing them with a pitiful, ‘God help you.’”

But, the Pope told his listeners, Jesus calls us to take action and to respond personally to the needs of others.

“People should not fear solidarity,” he said. “Because [it is] only in sharing… that our lives will be fecund.”

The rain held off all evening and, after the mass, the faithful followed the Pope in a 45-minute candlelight procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major for Benediction. Thousands of others lined the route on the chilly evening.

In usual custom, the Blessed Sacrament led the procession in a monstrance on a platform truck. Two priests rode in the truck, kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament.

While the two previous Popes rode on the truck, kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament, the 76-year-old Pope Francis walked the entire 1.5-kilometre route, following right behind the Blessed Sacrament.

Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci: