ROME, August 24, 2014 – Pope Francis reflected on the profession of faith of St. Peter, saying that Christ calls each one of us to offer our faith to build his Church.
The Gospel of St. Matthew recalled Simon confessing his faith in Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Upon hearing this, Christ names him Peter, the rock upon He will build his Church.
“Let us pause for a moment on this point, on the fact that Jesus attributes this new name to Simon: “Peter”, who in Jesus’ language is pronounced “Kefa”, a word that means ‘rock’”, the Pope said. “In the Bible, this name, this word ‘rock’ is referred to God. Jesus attributes it to Simon not for his quality or for his human merits, but for his genuine and firm faith, which comes from above.”
The Holy Father explained that Jesus saw in Peter a “trustworthy faith” where he can construct his Church. The same thing, he said, happens to every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Christ. The Pope called on the faithful to ask themselves on the state of their own faith.
“Each one must answer in their heart: How is your faith?” he asked. “What does the Lord find in our hearts? A steadfast heart like a rock or a sand-like heart, that is, doubtful, wary, incredulous? It would do us well today to think about this.”
The 77 year old Pontiff went on to say that the Lord seeks not a perfect faith, but rather a sincere and genuine faith that can be used as living stones to build his Church. Each baptized person, he said, “is called to offer to Jesus their own faith, poor but sincere, so that He can continue to build his Church, today, in every part of the world.”
Before reciting the Angelus prayer with the faithful, Pope Francis called on the faithful to pray to God, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, to give us the grace to respond sincerely as Peter did.
“This is a confession of faith, this is the Creed. Let us all repeat this three times together: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”, he said, to which the people repeated together Peter’s profession of faith
Prayers for Ukraine
After reciting the Marian prayer, the Holy Father prayed for peace in the Ukraine, on the occasion of their National Independence Day. Their yearning for peace and serenity, he said, is threatened by the current situation “ which causes much suffering among the civilian population. The Pope entrusted the Ukrainian people to the Virgin Mary, leading the faithful in praying the “Hail Mary”.
“I have received a letter from a bishop and he recounted all this pain. Let us pray together to Our Lady for this beloved land of the Ukraine on the day of their national feast,” he said.