For Christ's love compels us... - II Cor 5:14
"The sacraments express and bring about an effective and profound communion among us, because in them we encounter Christ the Savior and, through Him, our brothers in the faith. The sacraments are not appearances, they are not rites, but they are the strength of Christ; it is Jesus Christ present in the sacraments.
When we celebrate the Eucharist it is the living Jesus who gathers us, who makes us community, and who makes us adore the Father. Each one of us, in fact, through baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist, is incorporated to Christ and united with the whole community of believers. Therefore, if on one hand it is the Church that “makes” the sacraments, on the other it is the sacraments that “make” the Church, they build her, generating new children, adding them to the Holy People of God, solidifying their membership.
Every encounter with Christ, which in the sacraments gives us salvation, invites us to “go” and to communicate to others a salvation that we have been able to see, to touch, to encounter, to receive, and which is truly credible because it is love. In this way, the sacraments drive us to be missionaries, and the apostolic commitment to take the Gospel to every environment, also in those that are more hostile, constitutes the most authentic fruit of an assiduous sacramental life, in as much as it is participation in God’s salvific initiative, who wills to give salvation to all.
The grace of the sacraments nourishes in us a strong and joyous faith, a faith that is able to be amazed by the “wonders” of God and is able to resist the idols of the world. Because of this, it is important to go to Communion, it is important that children be baptized soon, that they be confirmed, because the sacraments are the presence of Jesus Christ in us, a presence that helps us. It is important, when we feel ourselves sinners, to approach the sacrament of reconciliation. Someone might say: “But I’m afraid, because the priest will thrash me.” No, the priest won’t thrash you. Do you know who you will encounter in the sacrament of reconciliation? You will encounter Jesus who forgives you! It is Jesus who awaits you there; and this is a sacrament that makes the whole Church grow."
Wednesday Audience Address, 11/06/13, St Peter's Square