Pope's Morning Homily: We Are Called to be Citizens of the Church

Recalls Jesus’ Mercy in Choosing the ‘Foundation of the Apostles’

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Jesus does not look at sins or faults, but rather looks at the heart of those he chooses to build his Church. Pope Francis reflected on this during his morning homily at Santa Marta today.

Today’s Gospel from St. Luke recalled the calling of the Twelve Apostles, which stated that before choosing them, Jesus «spent the night in prayer to God.”

The Holy Father stressed that the Church is “built upon the foundation of the Apostles with Jesus Christ himself as the cornerstone.” He also noted that this foundation is made up of men who were chosen despite their sins. 

“As St. Paul says, this Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles; he chose twelve of them,” he said. “All of them sinners. Judas was not the one who sinned the most: I don’t know who sinned the most… Judas, poor man, is the one who closed himself to love and that is why he became a traitor. And they all ran away during the difficult time of the Passion and left Jesus alone. They are all sinners. But He chose [them]”.

The Pope went on to say that Christ wants us in the Church not as spectators but as “fellow citizens of this Church.”

“If we do not enter into this temple,” he said, “to be a part of this building so that the Holy Spirit may live in us, we are not Church.”

“We are on the threshold and look inside: ‘How lovely… yes this is beautiful…’ Those Christians who do not go beyond the Church’s reception: they are there, at the door… ‘Yes, I am Catholic, but not too Catholic…’”

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis said that one must have the attitude of Christ, who was merciful towards Peter without taking into account his sins. Even at the moment of his betrayal, Jesus was able to look into Peter’s heart and heal it.

“It is something he does for each of us,” the Pope concluded. “We cannot understand the Church without Jesus who prays and heals. May the Holy Spirit help us understand that this Church has its strength in Jesus’s prayer which can heal us all.”

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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