Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - The Church is holy , " not by our own merits ," but because " it comes from God who is holy , because Jesus , the Holy One of God, is united in an indissoluble way to it , because it is guided by the Holy Spirit. " During the General Audience dedicated today to the Creed Pope Francis focused on the adjective " holy " that follows the statement " I believe One Holy and Apostolic Church".
60 thousand people were present
in St Peter's Square , among whom as has become customary he toured in his open
topped jeep for almost half an hour, shaking hands and kissing babies. He
also " swapped "his skull cap with one of those present and waved for
a moment , an Argentine flag that he was passed.
But how is it possible , he asked , to say that the Church is holy although "its path through the centuries has been full of difficulties, problems , dark moments , how can it be a holy Church made of sinful men , sinful women , sinful priests , nuns, bishops , cardinals, Popes". "How can this be a holy Church? " .
The answer is in the fact that "Christ loved the Church and gave all of himself on the Cross . And this means that the Church is holy because it comes from God who is holy, who is the faithful and does not abandon us to the power of death and evil. It is holy because Jesus Christ, the Holy One of God , is united to it in an indissoluble way, it is holy because it is guided by the Holy Spirit that purifies, transforms , renews . It is not holy because of our merits, but because God makes it holy , it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and his gifts . 'It is not us who make it holy : it is God , the Holy Spirit , who in His love, makes the Church holy . "
"It 's true, we are a church of sinners , and as sinners we are called to be transformed , renewed , sanctified by God in history There has been a temptation of some who claimed : the Church is only the Church of the pure, those who are totally consistent , and the others must leave . This is not true! This is heresy. The Church, which is holy, does not reject sinners ; It reject any of us! It does not reject anyone, because it calls to everyone, receives them, is open to most distant of us, it calls us all to be enveloped by the mercy, tenderness and forgiveness of the Father , Who gives everyone the chance to encounter Him , to walk towards holiness . "
And if "we all carry with us our sins", "the Lord wants to hear us say to him, ' Forgive me , help me to walk, change my heart .' And the Lord can transform hearts ! The God we encounter in the Church is not a merciless judge , but the Father of the Gospel parable . You may be like the son who left the house, who hit rock bottom in distancing himself from God. When you have the strength to say : I want to return home, you will find an open door , God comes to you because He is always waiting for you. God is always waiting for you ! God embraces you , kisses you and celebrates . This is how the Lord is! This is tenderness of our Father , the Lord wants us part of a church that knows how to open its arms to welcome everyone, which is not home to a few, but everyone's home , where everyone can be renewed, transformed , sanctified by His love , the strongest and the weakest , the sinners , the indifferent , those who feel discouraged and lost. The Church offers all the possibility to pursue the path of holiness, which is the path for a Christian; it helps us to encounter Jesus Christ in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession ; it communicates to us the Word of God, helps us to live in love, the love of God toward all. Let us ask ourselves, are we a Church that calls and welcomes sinners with open arms , that gives courage , hope, or are we a Church closed in on itself. Are we are a church where you can feel the love of God , which has drawn attention to others , in which we pray for each other ? " .
The Pope then asked one last question : "what can I do that I feel weak , frail , sinful ? God says do not be afraid of holiness , do not be afraid to aim high , to be loved by God and to be purified , do not be afraid to let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit . Let yourselves be infected by the holiness of God. Every Christian is called to holiness , and holiness does not consist primarily in doing extraordinary things , but allowing God act. In the encounter between our weakness and the power of His grace, in trusting in his action that allows us to live in charity , to do everything with joy and humility , for the glory of God and service to others . " " Do not lose hope in holiness , let us all travel this path."