It was standing room only, as Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Bolivia. It was a colorful setting with plenty of lively music to go along with it.
In his homily, the Pope said there's an underlying message in the Gospel reading, where Jesus multiplies fish and loaves of bread. He said Christians should stay away from the mentality where everything has a price or is negotiable.
"This way of thinking has room only for a select few, while it discards all those who are unproductive, unsuitable or unworthy, since clearly those people don’t 'add up.' But Jesus once more turns to us and says: "They don’t need to go away; you yourselves, give them something to eat.”
He then explained that in this miracle, Jesus highlights three main points: taking, blessing and giving. The most powerful gift of all, he added is the Eucharist.
"Unbelievably, there were even leftovers: enough to fill seven baskets. A memory which is taken, blessed and given always satisfies people’s hunger.”
The wealth of a nation is measured by the lives of its people. From the elderly to the young. Everyone, no matter how small, he said, has dignity.
"Jesus never detracts from the dignity of anyone, no matter how little they possess or seem capable of contributing.”
The Papal Mass also marked the opening of the 5th Eucharistic National Congress in Bolivia.