Be transformed by the Eucharist, pope asks Catholics

Above: Pope Francis elevates the host as he celebrates Mass at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, Cyprus, in this Dec. 3, 2021, file photo. The pope's prayer intention for July is "For a Eucharistic life," and he encouraged Catholics to be "transformed" by participating in the Eucharist. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholics must place the Eucharist at the center of their lives to transform their relationships with God and their neighbors, Pope Francis said.

"If you are the same at the end of Mass as you were at the beginning, something is wrong," the pope said in a video message released July 3 for his prayer intention for the month of July: "For a Eucharistic life."

"The Eucharist is the presence of Jesus, it is deeply transforming. Jesus comes and must transform you," he said.

The video, different versions of which are released with the pope's monthly prayer intention, also showed people attending Mass, helping the homeless and visiting the elderly.

By offering himself in the Eucharist, Christ "invites us so that our lives may be nourished by him and may nourish the lives of our brothers and sisters," the pope said.

"The eucharistic celebration is an encounter with the Risen Jesus," Pope Francis said. "At the same time, it is a way of opening ourselves to the world as he taught us."

Each time Catholics participate in the Eucharist, "Jesus comes and gives us the strength to love like he loved," the pope said, because the Eucharist "gives us the courage to encounter others, to go out of ourselves and to open ourselves to others with love."

Pope Francis prayed that Catholics may place at the center of their lives the eucharistic celebration which " which transforms human relationships and opens up an encounter with God and their brothers and sisters."

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