.- During Mass on the final day of his Apostolic Journey to Cyprus, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on the lessons of the feast of Corpus Christi and prayed for the unifying action of the Holy Spirit for deepened communion among members of the Church.
The Holy Father celebrated Mass on Sunday morning at the Eleftheria Sports Center together with the patriarchs and bishops of the Catholic Churches in the Middle East, all gathered in anticipation of the consignment of the Instrumentum Laboris for their Special Assembly in October. Also present at the celebration was the Orthodox Archbishop of Nova Justiniana and All Cyprus Chrysostomos II.
Recalling the day's celebration of the Solemnity of the Lord's Body and Blood, the Pope said that by reflecting on Jesus' physical, eucharistic and ecclesial bodies we can come to a deeper understanding of the communion between members of the Church.
He cited the Eucharistic Prayer II, explaining that "All who feed on the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist are 'brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit' to form God’s one holy people."
Turning to the teachings of St. Augustine, the Holy Father observed that, nourished by the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit unites individuals, as grain is mixed to form bread, to become the ecclesial Body of Christ.
We are his body on earth, said the Pope, and as such we are called to be compassionate, to extend a hand to bless and to heal, go out and do His work and be His "lips" to proclaim the Gospel.
"Nourishing ourselves of Him in the Eucharist and accepting the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we become truly the body of Christ that we have received, we are truly in commuion with him and with others, and we become authentically his instruments, giving testimony to him before the world."
Referring to the unifying action of the Holy Spirit in the first Christian community which spread the Gospel throughout the Middle East, the Holy Father said, " today we are called, just as they were, to be of one heart and one soul, to deepen our communion with the Lord and with one another, and to bear witness to him before the world."
He then repeated a recurring theme of the trip, emphasizing the call "to overcome our differences, to bring peace and reconciliation where there is conflict, to offer the world a message of hope. We are called to reach out to those in need, generously sharing our earthly goods with those less fortunate than ourselves. And we are called to proclaim unceasingly the death and resurrection of the Lord, until he comes."
Following Mass, the Holy Father consigned the Instrumentum Laboris for October's Synod of Middle Eastern bishops and prayed the Angelus, after which he greeted those celebrating the beatification of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko in Warsaw, Poland.
To read the Pope's full homily, click here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cyprus10/resource.php?res_id=1429