First of all, I greet the representatives of the various Christian churches and the various Christian communities present.

The theme assigned for today is: “Breaking bread for the Journey”. And to understand it, the Gospel that has just been proclaimed comes to our aid.

It is a passage full of ideas from which we take only a few considerations.


The apostles gathered around Jesus to report what they had done and taught. Others translate “they returned to Jesus”. In any case, Jesus is the reference for apostolic ministry. Something very predictable and banal thing, evidently. It is clear that Jesus is the reference for every mission. These are things that we learn from our childhood.

Yet, even though we have always said that we have Jesus as a reference, our history says something different. Our divisions are the evident demonstration that in our speaking, in our orientations and in our strategies, the main reference was not Jesus and the listening to His teaching but, at best, our idea of Jesus. We know very well in fact, from history, that we have listened more to ourselves, our political interests, our fear of losing acquired power. Rather than serving Jesus, we have used Jesus. Staying with the Gospel passage: we have not been able to gather around Him. And I am not speaking here of the inevitable cultural and ritual differences between us, which are the result of the manifold beauty of the Christianity, but I am speaking of the hostility that has accompanied us for many centuries and because of which we are no longer able to break the Eucharistic bread together.