If I have a little time in the early morning I may try to parse some of the Holy Father’s Corpus Christi sermon at the Lateran.
In the meantime, it was nice to see him preach, seated as usual, and with his miter.
It was nice to see the Roman vestments, pianetta over dalmatic, for such a Roman observance of Corpus Christi.
Here are two excerpts from the sermon I rapidly translated as they caught my ear, with a bit of my emphases and comments.
St. Leo the Great reminds us that "our participation in the Body and Blood of Christ leads to nothing other than to become that which we receive" (sermo 12, De Passione, 2,7, PL54). [And extension of what Leo says, after Augustine, that Christ became the son of Man so that we might become godlike. Also, consider that when we eat normal food we transform it into what we are, flesh and bone. In consuming the Eucharist, it transforms us into what It is.] If this is true for every Christian, it is so for an even greater reason for us priests. To be the Eucharist! Let this very thing be our constant desire and task, so that at the offering of the Body and Blood of the Lord, we accomplish on the altar, there comes also the sacrifice of our existence. [The priest is both the one who offers and the one who is offered. During the older form of Holy Mass, during the Canon after the consecration with the Eucharist is on the altar, the priest bows low asking that the Sacrifice by brought to the altar of heaven. The priest kisses the altar and then makes the sign of the Cross over the two elements and over himself. This shows in a mysterious way the deep connection, even identity between the priest as priest at the altar, the priest as victim on the altar, indeed the priest as alter Christus with the Eucharist Lord, Viction and Priest. They are one.] Every day, we draw from the Body and Blood of the Lord that free and pure love which makes us worthy minister of Christ and witnesses to His joy. [And I have a question about this next part…] And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year. [Is that something people want to see?]
There is today a of a creeping secularization [Rem acu tetigit!] even within the Church, [NB: He didn’t say there might be… he said there is.] which can [If we are not wary] turn into a Eucharistic worship which is formal and empty, [Interesting… here "secularization" is taken in the sense of worldly. People who love the older forms are susceptible to this as well, if they lose the point of Holy Mass and get bound up in the particulars without looking through them to the whole point of worship, of religion… an encounter with mystery.] in celebrations deprived of that participation of heart [let’s take this as that deeper inner sense that goes beyond intellectual interest alone.] which one expresses in veneration and respect for the liturgy. [AH! "veneration and respect for the LITURGY"] There is a strong temptation to reduce to prayer to superficial and hurried moments, allowing it to be overwhelmed by activites and wordly preoccupations. [We need patience.] When in a little while we will repeat the Our Father, the prayer par excellence, we will say: "Give us this day our daily bread:", thinking naturally of the bread of each day. This request, however, contains something deeper. [He has here a little exploration of the concept of time, which flows mysteriously in the sacred action.] The term in Greek epioúsios, which we translate as "daily", could allude also to the "supersubstantial" bread "of the world to come". [There is an eschatological dimension to participation in the Eucharist.] Some Fathers of the Church saw here a reference to the Eucharist, the bread of eternal life that is given in Holy Mass, so that from now on the future world will have its beginning in us. With the Eucharist therefore heaven becomes earth, the tomorrow of God settles into the present and time is as if embraced by a divine eternity. [And you, in the sacred action, are also transformed.]
BTW.. during the coverage, you could hear the wonderful high pitched calls of the swallows, which swoop around gloriously in the Roman evening.