In Corpus Christi homily, Pope asks: do we long for ‘garlic and onions’ of slavery?
June 20, 2014
In his homily for the Mass of Corpus Christi, celebrated at the Lateran Basilica on the evening of June 19, Pope Francis reflected on the experience of the Israelites following their liberation from slavery in Egypt.
Once established in the promised land, Israel, tempted to autonomy, needed to commemorate its experience of dependence on God in the desert, the Pope said. In addition to physical hunger-- the hunger addressed by the provision of manna-- there is another hunger: “hunger for life, hunger for love, hunger for eternity.” Jesus, he continued, provides the food that satisfies this hunger: “his body is real food under the species of bread; his blood is true drink under the species of wine.”
The world, Pope Francis added, offers other foods: money, success and vanity, power and pride. Much as Israel in the desert had “a sick memory, a selective memory” in longing for the garlic and onions of slavery in Egypt, we at times “dream of eating tasty foods, but in slavery.”
Each of us can ask ourselves: what is my memory? That of the Lord, who saves me, or that of the garlic and onions of slavery? With what memory do I satiate my soul? The Father tells us: ‘I have fed you with manna which you did not know.’ Let us recover memory. “This is the task, to recover memory; and learn to recognize the false bread that deceives and corrupts, because it is the result of selfishness, self-sufficiency, and sin.
Following the Mass, Pope Francis did not lead the Eucharistic procession to the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, but instead rode there. At the basilica, he presided at the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
- Santa Messa e Processione eucaristica nella Solennità del Santissimo Corpo e Sangue di Cristo (Holy See Press Office)
- Pope Francis leads Corpus Domini celebrations (Vatican Radio)
- Pope misses traditional Eucharistic procession for Corpus Christi (CWN, 6/19)