first pontifical homily, delivered earlier today, Pope Benedict XVI noted the significance of his pontificate starting âas the Church is living the special year dedicated to the Eucharist.â He called it a âprovidential coincidenceâ, and âan element that must mark the ministry to which [he has] been called.â.- In his
âThe Eucharist,â he said, âthe heart of Christian life and the source of the evangelizing mission of the Church, cannot but be the permanent center and the source of the petrine service entrusted to me.â
Setting what will likely be a major theme, the Pope said that, âIn this yearâ¦the Solemnity of Corpus Christ must be celebrated in a particularly special way. The Eucharist will be at the center, in August, of World Youth Day in Cologne and, in October, of the ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place on the theme "The Eucharist, Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.â
Pope Benedict asked the faithful to âintensify in coming months love and devotion to the Eucharistic Jesus and to express in a courageous and clear way the real presence of the Lord, above all through the solemnity and the correctness of the celebrations.â
In particular, he called on priests, whose lives âmust have in a special way a 'Eucharistic form',â as John Paul II wrote in his last Letter for Holy Thursday.
âThe devout daily celebration of Holy Mass,â he said, âthe center of the life and mission of every priest, contributes to this end.â
"Nourished and sustained by the Eucharist,â he added, âCatholics cannot but feel stimulated to tend towards that full unity for which Christ hoped in the Cenacle.â