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There are no useless pebbles for building the Church, says pope



Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/27/17

Christ has a spot picked out for each of us, thought of from all eternity.

Pope Francis today said that no one is too small or insignificant to have a great role in building up the Church — because “in the hands of Jesus, even the smallest rock becomes precious, because he takes it up, safeguards it with great tenderness, smooths it with his Spirit, and places it in the particular spot that he has designed from eternity, and where it can be useful for the construction.”

The Holy Father said this as he reflected on today’s Gospel reading, before praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Considering Jesus’ question to the apostles, “and who do you say that I am,” Pope Francis noted that the “Master anticipates from his followers an answer that is different and higher than public opinion” and in fact, this answer comes from Simon Peter.

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Peter, who replies, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God,” “finds on his lips words that are greater than himself, words that do not spring from his natural capacities. Perhaps he hadn’t even gone to primary school and he is capable of saying these words, stronger than himself,” the pope noted. “But they are inspired by the Heavenly Father, who reveals to the first of the Twelve the true identity of Jesus.”

With Peter’s response, the pope said, Jesus sees the faith given the apostle by the Father, the solid foundation on which to construct his community, the Church.

“As well with us today, Jesus wants to continue constructing his Church,” Francis continued. And even though we aren’t rocks, but only small pebbles, “no pebble is useless.”

We all become “living stones,” he said, “because when Jesus takes in his hands his rock, he makes it his own, he fills it with life, he fills it with the life of the Holy Spirit, he fills it with life thanks to his love, and thus we have a place and a mission in the Church. She, the Church, is a living community, made of so very many rocks, each one diverse, which form a solid edifice in the sign of fraternity and communion.”


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