Church is always in need of repair, reform, pope says

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By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although the church is built upon a strong foundation, it is always in need of being reformed and repaired, Pope Francis said.

Before reciting the Angelus prayer Aug. 27, Pope Francis said that Christians are the “living stones” that Christ uses to fill in the gaps and crevices that continually appear.

“Even with us today, Jesus wants to continue building his church, this house with solid foundations yet where cracks aren’t lacking and which still needs to be repaired. Always,” the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The pope spoke about the day’s Gospel reading from St. Matthew in which Peter proclaims that Jesus is “the Christ, the son of the living God.”

With Peter’s affirmation, the pope said, Jesus understands that “thanks to the faith given him by the father, there is a solid foundation upon which he can build his community, his church.”

Christ proclaimed Peter the rock upon which he would build his church, the pope said. And Christ sees every believer, no matter how small, as a precious stone that he can use “in the right place” and continue building up the church.

“Each one of us is a small stone, but in Jesus’ hands we participate in the construction of the church,” the pope said. “And all of us, as small as we are, are made into ‘living stones’ because when Jesus takes a stone in his hand, he makes it his own, he makes it alive, full of life, full of the life of the Holy Spirit, full of life from his love.”

“Thus, we have a place and mission in the church: to be a community of life made up of many stones, all different, that form one single edifice in the sign of brotherhood and communion,” Pope Francis said.

The Gospel, he added, reminds Christians that Jesus wanted Peter and his successors — the popes — to be the “visible center of communion” for the church.