Pope opens Synod with Eucharist link to peaceful, just society
At an opening Mass for the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, Pope Benedict XVI said the Eucharist is the true way to build justice in society and to create peace in human hearts.
Catholic News Service reports that he encouraged the synod not only to pronounce "beautiful things" about the Eucharist, but also to experience its power and communicate it to the world.
About 250 synod participants and thousands of others joined the pope in St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday for the inaugural Mass, a liturgy marked by a solemn tone and few multicultural flourishes.
Dressed in pale green vestments, the pope read a sermon that explained the Eucharist in simple terms, as the place where "God comes to meet us."
"God is waiting for us. He wants to be loved by us. Shouldn't this appeal touch our hearts?" he said.
But this very encounter, he said, is often hindered by people's indifference. He said today's faithful need to recall the prophet Isaiah's parable of the vineyard and ask themselves: "Is not our Christian life perhaps more vinegar than wine?"
The pope said the refusal to meet God, a phenomenon already described in biblical times, continues today in various forms. In essence, he said, human beings want to possess the world and control their own lives by themselves.
"God is an obstacle for us. Either he is reduced to a simple devotional phrase or is denied altogether, banished from public life, so that he loses all meaning," he said.
Under the popular notion of tolerance, he said, God is accepted as a private opinion but is refused a place of public influence.
"This is not tolerance but hypocrisy," the pope said. Ultimately, it leads not to justice but to a society ruled by power and private interests, he said.
The pope asked for prayers for the success of the synod, including prayers to guardian angels, whose feast day was celebrated on Sunday.
He also asked people to pray the rosary, which he said was enjoying a revival in the church, thanks in part to the efforts of Pope John Paul. The pope's mention of his predecessor drew a wave of applause from the crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square.
At opening Mass, pope says Eucharist is way to just society, peace (Catholic News Service 3/10/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Synod of Bishops
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4 Oct 2005