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Pope: Risen Christ comes to us in the Eucharist

April 21st, 2009
Zenit News Agency (www.zenit.org)

It is in every Eucharistic Celebration that the Church and every one of her members experience his living presence and benefit from the full richness of his love.

CASTEL GANDOLFO (Zenit) - Benedict XVI is affirming that the Risen Christ remains with us in the Eucharist, to aid and strengthen us on our way to our fulfillment, everlasting life with him.

The Pope said this April 13, Easter Monday, before praying the Regina Caeli with the people gathered at the pontifical residence at Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome. The event was also shown live in St. Peter's Square through video streaming.

The Pontiff noted that in these days of Easter, the words of Jesus echo: "I am risen, and I am with you always."

"In fact," he said, "in rising from the dead, Jesus inaugurated his eternal day and has opened the door to our joy, too."

"The People of God, which has Christ as its invisible Head, is destined to grow in the course of the centuries until the complete fulfillment of the plan of salvation," explained the Holy Father.

"Then," he added, "the whole of humanity will be incorporated into him and every existing reality will be penetrated with his total victory."

Benedict XVI affirmed: "Thus it is right for the Christian community to rejoice, all of us, because the Resurrection of the Lord assures us that the divine plan of salvation, despite all the obscurity of history, will certainly be brought about.

"This is why his Passover truly is our hope. And we, risen with Christ through Baptism, must now follow him faithfully in holiness of life, advancing towards the eternal Passover, sustained by the knowledge that the difficulties, struggles and trials of human life, including death, henceforth can no longer separate us from him and his love.

"His Resurrection has formed a bridge between the world and eternal life over which every man and every woman can cross to reach the true goal of our earthly pilgrimage."

True Presence

The Pope stated that Jesus keeps his promise to remain with us always, above all by his presence in the Eucharist.

He explained that "it is in every Eucharistic Celebration that the Church and every one of her members experience his living presence and benefit from the full richness of his love."

"In the Sacrament of the Eucharist," he added, "the risen Lord is present and mercifully purifies us from our sins; he nourishes us spiritually and infuses us with strength to withstand the harsh trials of life and the fight against sin and evil."

Thus, the Pontiff affirmed, "He is the sturdy support in our pilgrimage towards the eternal dwelling place in Heaven."

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