During the Wednesday General Audience, the Paul VI Audience Hall was at capacity as it drew in an overwhelming number of pilgrims. The pope stopped by the entrance to greet the throngs of eager spectators that were unable to enter. Later, the pilgrims received him with excitement and cheer.
Pope Francis tenderly smiled as he stopped to bless several babies. In his catechesis, the pope spoke about the significance of the multiplication of the loaves of bread and fish for the multitudes and the reason why Jesus did this.
'On that day, the Master was dedicated to the people. The compassion Jesus has towards us is not a vague feeling. He shows us the full force of His will to be close to us and save us. He loves us very much and wants to be close to us.'
The pope spoke about Jesus compassion and merciful concern for others as He looked for food for all those who followed him. Jesus also wanted His disciples to join in as participants in His mission. This is when he asked them for something.
'Jesus was moved when he saw the crowd was exhausted and hungry and went to succor them. He was not only worried about those who followed Him but wanted his disciples to commit to assisting the people by sending them to: 'You give them something to eat.'
He explained how Jesus blessed the five loaves of bread and two fish to evoke the institution of the Eucharist which allows communion with Christ and also makes people become increasingly closer to others.
'To live in communion with Christ has to do with remaining passive to the wonder of everyday life. On the contrary, it introduces us always more and more to relationships with men and women of our time to offer a concrete sign of mercy and care of Christ.'
At the conclusion of the General Audience, like every Wednesday, the pope dedicated a special greeting to the ailing pilgrims who were in attendance.