Vatican City, 7 November 2014 (VIS) – “The Eucharist, mystery of communion” is the theme of the ecumenical convention of bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement. This is an annual event uniting bishops not only from different countries but also from different churches and ecclesial communities, defined by Pope Francis as the result of “what is produced by the love of the Word of God and the will to conform existence to the Gospel; these attitudes, created and accompanied by the grace of the Holy Spirit, help nurture many initiatives, allowing solid friendships to thrive and producing significant moments of brotherhood and sharing”.
The Holy Father reiterated the value, in a troubled world, of a “clear testimony of unity between Christians and an explicit declaration of esteem, respect and, more precisely, fraternity between us. This fraternity is a shining sign of our faith in the risen Christ. Indeed, if we intend to endeavour, as Christians, to respond incisively to the many problems and crises of our time, it is necessary to speak and act as brothers, so that everyone can easily recognise us as such. This too is a way – perhaps for us the first – of responding to the globalisation of indifference with a globalisation of solidarity and fraternity”.
Among the issues that currently call to the conscience of Christians and their pastors, the Pope mentioned the “lack of freedom to publicly express one's religion and to live openly in accordance with Christian ethics; the persecution of Christians and other minorities; the sad phenomenon of terrorism; the refugee crisis caused by wars and other reasons; the challenge of fundamentalism and, at the other extreme, exasperated secularism”.
These challenges are a call to “seek with renewed effort, with constancy and patience, the ways that lead to unity, so that the world might believe, and so that we first may be filled with confidence and courage. Among these paths there is a special route, and it is the Eucharist as the mystery of communion. … The Lord's Supper, a central moment in the life of the community, a 'moment of truth', is the encounter between Christ's grace and our responsibility; there, in the Eucharist, we are clearly aware that unity is a gift, and at the same time it is a very serious responsibility”, concluded the Pontiff.