As he did with his disciples at Passover, Jesus asks all Christians to prepare a place for him, not in “exclusive, selective places” but rather in uncomfortable places that are “untouched by love, untouched by hope,” Pope Francis said.
“How many persons lack dignified housing or food to eat! All of us know people who are lonely, troubled and in need: they are abandoned tabernacles. We, who receive from Jesus our own room and board, are here to prepare a place and a meal for these, our brothers and sisters in need,” the pope said in his homily during Mass on 3rd June, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Pope Francis celebrated the feast day Mass not in Rome, as had been the tradition since 1979, but in the seaside town of Ostia, about 16 miles west. Ostia was where St Monica, the mother of St Augustine, died in 387 on a journey back to Africa after St Augustine’s conversion to Christianity.
During his pontificate, Blessed Paul VI celebrated the feast day in different neighbourhoods in and around Rome, including in Ostia in 1968.
Picture: Pope Francis leads Benediction in observance of the feast of Corpus Christi in Ostia, a suburb of Rome, on 3rd June. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).