We said that breaking the bread is an act of communion, an act of uniting through sharing. Thus, in the act itself, the intimate nature of the Eucharist is already indicated: it is agape, it is love made corporeal. In the word “agape” the meanings of the Eucharist and love intertwine. In Jesus’ act of breaking the bread, the love that is shared has reached its most radical form: Jesus allows himself to be broken as living bread. In the bread that is distributed we recognise the mystery of the grain of wheat that dies, and so bears fruit. We recognise the new multiplication of the loaves, which derives from the dying of the grain of wheat and will continue until the end of the world. At the same time we see that the Eucharist can never be just a liturgical action. It is complete only if the liturgical agape then becomes love in daily life. In Christian worship, the two things become one – experiencing the Lord’s love in the act of worship and fostering love for one’s neighbour. At this hour we ask the Lord for the grace to learn to live the mystery of the Eucharist ever more deeply, in such a way that the transformation of the world can begin to take place.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI – Maundy Thursday 2009