The task of every Christian is to build “the unity of the Church.” This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today.
The Holy Father reflected on the first reading in which St. Paul calls on the Christian community of Ephesus “to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.”
Recalling St. Paul’s image of the Church as living stones, the Pope stressed that as Christians, we are also tasked with “building the unity of the Church."
“When constructing a temple or a building, the first thing ones does is find suitable land,” he explained.
“Then one lays the cornerstone, the Bible says. And the cornerstone of the unity of the Church, or rather the cornerstone of the Church, is Jesus and the cornerstone of the unity of the Church is Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper: 'Father, that they may be one!'. And this is its strength!”
The 77-year-old Pontiff went on to say that it is only through the grace of the Holy Spirit that one is capable of constructing this unity. The Spirit does this, he said, “in the diversity of nations, cultures and people.”
Contemplating St. Paul’s advice to be weak bricks, the Pope noted that in the eyes of the world, that is weak advice.
"Humility, gentleness, magnanimity: These are weak things, because the humble person appears good for nothing; gentleness, meekness appear useless; generosity, being open to all, having a big heart,” he said. “The weaker we are with these virtues of humility, generosity, gentleness, meekness, the stronger we become as stones in this Temple."
The Pope called on the faithful to follow the path of Jesus who “became strong” only after becoming weak and dying on the Cross.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis encouraged those present to hold on to “the hope of journeying towards the Lord” and “the hope of living in a living Church made of living stones.”
“We have been called to a great hope. Let's go there!” he exclaimed. “But with the strength that Jesus prayer’ for unity gives us; with docility to the Holy Spirit, who is capable of making living stones from bricks; and with the hope of finding the Lord who has called us, to encounter Him in the fullness of time."