Coverage Areas:  National |  South Carolina |  Aiken |  Beaufort |  Charleston |  Columbia |  Greenville |  Myrtle Beach |  Rock Hill

Eucharist is a taste of heaven on earth, pope says

VATICAN CITY—By receiving the Eucharist at Mass, Christians are given Christ’s same spirit and a taste of eternal life, Pope Francis said.

“Every time that we participate in the Holy Mass, we hasten heaven on earth in a certain sense because from the eucharistic food — the body and blood of Christ — we learn what eternal life is,” the pope said Aug. 19 during his Angelus address.

After praying the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, the pope led them in praying for the victims of massive flooding caused by monsoon rains in the Indian state of Kerala.

According to the BBC, more than 350 people have died while thousands more are still trapped and awaiting rescue.

“I am close to the church in Kerala, which is in the front lines to bring aid to the population. We are all close to the church in Kerala and let us pray together for those who have lost their lives and for those people who are tried by this great calamity,” the pope said.

In his main address, Pope Francis reflected on the Sunday Gospel reading in which Jesus tells the crowd that “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.”

The Eucharist, the pope said, is where Christians find “that which spiritually feeds us and quenches our thirst today and for eternity.”

“Happiness and eternity of life depend on our capacity for making the evangelical love we received in the Eucharist fruitful,” he said.

Resistance to allowing oneself to be nourished by Jesus’ body and blood, he said, is seen “when we struggle to model our existence to that of Jesus, to act according to his standards and not according to the standards of the world.”

“This is so important: to go to Mass and receive Communion because to receive Communion is to receive the living Christ who transforms us from within and prepares us for heaven,” Pope Francis said.

By Junno Arocho Esteves/Catholic News Service

CNS photo/Paul Haring: Pope Francis celebrates the Eucharist during a Mass with hundreds of priests who are missionaries of mercy in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican April 10. Also pictured are Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, left, and Msgr. Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies.

  • Diocesan Events Calendar
    View All Events
    Nov 17 Diocese of Charleston Native American Catholic Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of Native American Ministry
    Nov 18 Vietnamese Martyrs Celebration
    From the Calendar of Vietnamese Ministry
    Dec 1 Black Catholics Heritage Celebration
    From the Calendar of African American Ministry
    Dec 15 Simbang Gabi for Filipino Catholics
    From the Calendar of Filipino Ministry
    Dec 25 Diocesan Television Christmas Special Fox 21
    From the Calendar of Ethnic Ministries
    Jan 412:00 am Class 2019 Ordination Retreat
    From the Calendar of Diaconate
    Jan 812:00 am Retiro Espiritual de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Jan 1210:00 am Junta de Equipo Diocesano de Emmaus
    From the Calendar of Pastoral Juvenil
    Feb 911:00 am Ordination of Permanent Deacons
    From the Calendar of Diaconate