September 12, 2011. (Romereports.com)
In a picture perfect setting, right next to the sea port of Ancona, the pope celebrated the closing Mass of the 25th Italian Eucharistic Congress.
The theme was “The Eucharist of Everyday Life.” People were encouraged to recognize the influence and power of the Eucharist, as a way to improve one's life and also as a way to help others. Benedict XVI“Those who receive the body of Christ cannot ignore the everyday hardships of others. They must know first hand how to break bread with the hungry, how to share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned.”
The key, says the pope, is found in “Eucharistic Spirituality.” It's a way to leave selfishness behind. It also allows people to embrace the spirit of forgiveness, allowing old wounds to heal between loved ones.
The pope used history as a main example. He said societies that exclude God and only focus on power and riches, are bound to become weaker, fostering false hope along the way. Benedict XVI“It's hard because often we confuse freedom with the absence of constraints, in the belief that we can make it alone, without God, who is seen as a limit to freedom. This is an illusion which soon turns into disappointment, generating fear and anxiety and leading us, paradoxically, to regret events of the past.”
After celebrating Mass with roughly 100,000 people, the pope had lunch with a group of 16 shipbuilders who recently lost their job in Ancona. As a gift, the group gave the pope two cakes. One of them had the official papal seal. The other, the symbol of the Eucharistic Congress.