“If a living Jesus isn’t in the Church, she collapses,” warned Pope Francis while celebrating Mass on November 9, 2017, feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Rome’s Cathedral. In the course of the celebration at Saint Martha’s Residence in the Vatican, the Holy Father encouraged to “purify the Church,” beginning with oneself.
To “build the Church” one must remember that Jesus “is the cornerstone in this building. Without Jesus Christ there is no Church. Why? — because there is no foundation. And if one builds a church – we think of a material church – without a foundation, what happens to it? It collapses. Everything collapses. If there isn’t a living Jesus in the Church, she collapses,” explained the Pontiff in his homily reported by Vatican Radio.
According to the Gift that God Has Given Each One
“And we, what are we?” asked the Pope. “We are living stones”: it’s the richness of the Church. Each one of us builds according to the gift that God has given him. We can’t think of a uniform Church: that’s not the Church,” he said.
The Holy Father also encouraged to “protect the Church”: “how many Christians today know who Jesus Christ is, know who the Father is – because they pray the Our Father – however, when you speak of the Holy Spirit…“Yes, yes…ah, it’s the dove, the dove,” and it stops there. But the Holy Spirit is the life of the Church, He’s your life, my life.””
“We are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we must protect the Holy Spirit, to such a point that Paul counsels Christians ‘not to grieve the Holy Spirit’, namely, not to have behavior that is contrary to the harmony that the Holy Spirit creates in us and in the Church. He is harmony, He creates the harmony of this building,” he continued.
Finally, the Christian is called to “purify the Church,” beginning with himself: “we are all sinners—all, all. If one among you isn’t, let him raise his hand, because that would be a beautiful curiosity. We are all sinners. That’s why we must purify ourselves continually, and also purify the community: the diocesan community, the Christian community, the universal community of the Church, to make her grow.”
The title “Mother of All the Churches,” accorded to Saint John Lateran Cathedral, is not “a motive for pride but for service and love,” the Pontiff also reminded.
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester