"We would like to go back and change the past, but we cannot," he said. "God, however, can heal these wounds by placing within our memory a greater love: his own love."
"The Lord knows that evil and sins do not define us; they are diseases, infections. And he comes to heal them with the Eucharist, which contains the antibodies to our negative memory. ... We will always remember our failures, troubles, problems at home and at work, our unrealized dreams. But their weight will not crush us because Jesus is present even more deeply, encouraging us with his love," he said.
God gave the world the gift of the Eucharist because he knows how easily people can forget him in their weakness, the pope said.
"God knows how difficult it is, he knows how weak our memory is … He did not just leave us words, for it is easy to forget what we hear. He did not just leave us the Scriptures, for it is easy to forget what we read. He did not just leave us signs, for we can forget even what we see. He gave us Food, for it is not easy to forget something we have actually tasted. He left us Bread in which he is truly present, alive and true, with all the flavour of his love."
The pope said that the Mass is a "treasure" that should "take precedence both in the Church and in our lives."
At the end of Mass, Pope Francis spent time in Eucharistic adoration, praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the basilica.
"Let us also rediscover Eucharistic adoration, which continues the work of the Mass within us," he said. "This will do us much good, for it heals us within. Especially now, when our need is so great."
He explained that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is a font of charity, giving us strength to be his helping hands.
"It is especially urgent now to take care of those who hunger for food and for dignity, of those without work and those who struggle to carry on. And this we must do in a real way, as real as the Bread that Jesus gives us," he said.
"This is the strength of the Eucharist, which transforms us into bringers of God, bringers of joy, not negativity," Pope Francis said.
"In the Eucharist, Jesus draws close to us: let us not turn away from those around us."
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Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.