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Francis: “Every Christian is called to work for the unity of the Church, it makes us stronger” (Vatican Insider)

At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House the Pope encouraged people to follow the same path as Jesus: He "became weak" to death on the Cross. "Pride and self-sufficiency are useless"

MAURO PIANTA
ROME, 24/10/2014
Working to ensure the unity of the Church is the historic task of every Christian. This was the message at the heart of Francis’ homily pronounced in St. Martha’s House this morning. We must allow ourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit, the Pope emphasized. It is the Holy Spirit that brings unity through diversity in the Church.

“As a prisoner I call on you to create unity in the Church,” Francis said, inspired by St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. "Building the unity of the Church - said the Pope - is the work of the Church and of every Christian throughout history.” When the Apostle Peter "speaks of the Church,” Francis continued, “he speaks of a temple made of living stones, that is us". The Pope then warned about another temple, the "temple of pride, which was the Tower of Babel". The first temple "brings unity", the second "is the symbol of disunity, lack of understanding, the diversity of languages​​”.

"Building the unity of the Church, building the Church, this temple, this unity of the Church: this is the task of every Christian, every one of us. When constructing a temple or a building, the first thing ones does is find suitable land. 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!"

“Jesus,” Francis emphasized, “is the rock on which we build unity in the Church", "without this stone, all else is impossible. There is no unity without Jesus Christ at the basis: He is our certainty". The Pope then asked, who "builds this unity?": "It is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the only one capable of building the unity of the Church. And that is why Jesus sent him: to make the Church grow, to make it strong, to make it one.” The Spirit builds "the unity of the Church" in the "diversity of nations, cultures, and people.” Pope Francis then posed another question: How is "this temple built?" Speaking on this topic, the Apostle Peter said "that we were living stones in this building". Saint Paul on the other hand "advises us not to be stones, to be weak bricks". The advice of the Apostle to the Gentiles in building this unity is "weak advice, according to human thought”.

"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 ... And then he says more: Bearing with one another through love. Bearing with one another through love, having what at heart? Preserving unity. The weaker we are with these virtues of humility, generosity, gentleness, meekness, the stronger we become as stones in this Temple.”

This is "the same path as Jesus" who "became weak" to death on the Cross "and then became strong!" We too, should do as much: "Pride and self-sufficiency are useless." When you construct a building, "the architect has to draw up plans. And what is the ground plan for the unity of the Church?"

"The hope to which we have been called: the hope of journeying towards the Lord, the hope of living in a living Church, made of living stones, with the power of the Holy Spirit. Only in the ground plan of hope can we move forward in the unity of the Church. We have been called to a great hope. Let's go there! 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".

Original article on http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/santa-marta-37123/

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