Loading
Saint Paul reveals the greatness and nobility of the Church, Pope Benedict says
Saint Paul reveals the greatness and nobility of the Church, Pope Benedict says
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Offering the last of his reflections on St. Paul during his weekly General Audiences, Pope Benedict XVI explained the special presence of the Church in the life, thoughts, and heart of the Apostle, and discussed how, for Paul, the greatness and nobility of the Church lies in being, “almost an extension” of Christ’s personal presence in the world.

The Holy Father recalled for the rain-drenched crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, how St. Paul's, "first contact with the person of Jesus came about through the witness of the Christian community of Jerusalem.”

“This gives us the opportunity to make a first important observation,” the Pope pointed out, “normally we come to Jesus - either to accept Him or refuse Him - through the mediation of the community of believers."
 
"In a certain way this also happened to St. Paul," said the Pope, although in Paul's case "adherence to the Church was facilitated by a direct intervention of Christ, Who, revealing Himself on the road to Damascus, identified Himself with the Church and made Paul understand that to persecute the Church was to persecute Him ... From this we can understand why the Church was so present in the thoughts, heart and activity of St. Paul."
 
He "founded many Churches in the various cities he visited as an evangelizer." And "in his Letters, Paul also explains his doctrine on the Church.”

“Particularly well-known,” the Holy Father noted, “is his definition of the Church as the 'body of Christ,' which is not to be found in other first-century Christian writers."
 
"The deepest roots of this surprising definition of the Church," he said, "are to be found in the Sacrament of the body of Christ.”

“In the Eucharist, Christ gives us His Body and makes us His Body,” the Pope continued. “In this way, Paul brings us to understand that not only does the Church belong to Christ, but that there is also some form of equivalence and identification between the Church and Christ.”

“Thence springs the greatness and nobility of the Church, in other words, of all of us who, as limbs of Christ, are part of the Church, almost an extension of His personal presence in the world," he said.
 
"Thence also derive Paul's exhortations regarding the various charisms that animate and give structure to the Christian community," the Holy Father affirmed. "However, it is important that all such charisms work together to build the community and do not become a cause of its break-up."
 
"Of course,” he added, “underscoring the need for unity does not mean that ecclesial life must be rendered uniform and dull.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Jan
29

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20

Gospel
Date
01/28/15
01/26/15
01/25/15

Daily Readings


Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
01/28/15

Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20

Homily
Date
01/28/15
01/26/15
01/25/15