Sunday, October 26, 2014
Pope calls Christians to be 'living stones' of the Church
.- In his homily for Mass at the Santa Marta residence on Oct. 24, Pope Francis reflected on the call of Christians to perpetuate unity in the Church by being “living stones” built upon the “cornerstone of Christ.”
This creating of unity in the Church, the Pope said, recounting the reading from Saint Paul to the Philippians, “is the work of the Church and of every Christian throughout history.”
In addition, the Holy Father cited the Apostle Peter, who contrasts the Church – “a temple made of living stone” – with the Tower of Babel, which he described as the “temple of pride.” The first temple creates “unity,” he said, whereas the second symbolizes disunity and misunderstanding.
The task of every Christian, Pope Francis said, is “to create unity in the Church,” the temple built upon Jesus, who is the “cornerstone”.
Jesus is the “rock upon which the Church's unity” is built, the Pope said, adding that “there is no unity without Jesus Christ at its base: He is our certainty.”
It is the Holy Spirit who creates this unity, the Holy Father said. “For this reason, Jesus sent Him: to make the Church grow, to make it strong, to make it one.”
In order to be strong “bricks” of the Temple, Pope Francis said the faithful must first become “weak” through the virtues of humility, kindness, and generosity. The weaker we become through these virtues which seemingly serve no purpose, the Pope said, the stronger we become as “living stones” of the Temple.
Just as Jesus “was made weak” even unto the Cross, the Pope said, “He became strong.” On the other hand, “Pride [and] conceit are useless.”
In creating this Temple, Pope Francis said, the architect must lay out a ground plan. This plan is “the hope to which we are called: the hope of going towards the Lord, the hope of living in a living Church, made with living stones, with the strength of the Holy Spirit.” It is only with this hope as the “ground plan” that it is possible “to move forward in the unity of the Church.”
“We are called to a great hope,” he said. “Let us go there! But with the strength which Jesus' prayer for unity gives us; with the gentleness of the Holy Spirit, who is able to make living stones from bricks; and with the hope of finding the Lord who has called us to encounter him in the fullness of time!”