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Pope Francis: audience, “Christ’s peace cannot take root in a heart incapable of living fraternity”

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“Christ’s peace cannot take root in a heart incapable of living fraternity and of restoring it after it has been wounded. Peace comes from the Lord and it is the Lord who gives us the grace to forgive those who have trespassed against us”, Pope Francis said at today’s General Audience devoted to the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In the Lord’s Prayer, “we implore from Christ that the gift of His peace – which is so different from that of the world – may make the Church grow in unity and peace, according to His will”. Then, Pope Francis continued, when “we offer each other the sign of peace, we express our ‘ecclesial communion and mutual love, before approaching the Sacrament” of the Eucharist. Having recalled that “in the Roman Rite the exchange of the sign of peace – placed before Communion since ancient times – is ordered to Eucharistic Communion”, the Pope went on to explain that “the sign of peace is followed by the breaking of the Bread”. “Made by Jesus at the Last Supper, the breaking of the Bread is the revealing gesture that allowed the disciples to recognize Him after His resurrection”, as happened to the disciples of Emmaus. “In the Eucharistic Bread, broken for the life of the world, the prayerful assembly recognizes the true Lamb of God, that is, Christ the Redeemer, and begs Him: ‘Have mercy on us … give us peace’”. For Pope Francis, “Have mercy on us” and “give us peace” are “invocations that, from the ‘Our Father’ prayer to the breaking of the Bread, help us to prepare our souls to participate in the Eucharistic banquet, which is the source of communion with God and with our brothers and sisters”. “Let us not forget the great prayer that Jesus taught us”, Pope Francis exhorted, because “it prepares us for Communion”. And then the invitation: “It would be nice to end this audience by praying all together the Our Father, each in our own language”.

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