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The water flowing through the Church

· The Pope's Mass at Santa Marta ·

We need to pray that the Church always allow the water of grace to flow through her, that she always be founded on Christ and that she always remain faithful, and that her members allow themselves to be converted by the Lord each day. This was Pope Francis’ advice to the faithful who assisted at the Holy Mass he celebrated in the Chapel of Santa Marta on Saturday, 9 November.

The Pontiff recalled the meaning of the day’s liturgical commemoration of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, the Roman cathedral which is called the “mother of all the Churches of the city and of the world”. It is a feast day, he said, for the city of Rome, for the Church of Rome and for the Universal Church. Pope Francis then commented on three icons drawn from the readings of the day, which speak about the Church. From the first Reading (Ezek 47:1-2,8-9,12) and from Psalm 45, the image of the river of water flowing from the Temple that gladdens the city of God, a figure and type of grace which sustains and nourishes the life of the Church. From the second Reading, (1 Cor 3:9-11, 16-17), the icon of the rock which is Jesus Christ, the foundation on which the Church is built. From the Gospel of the Purification in the Temple (Jn 2:13-22), the icon of the reform of the Church: Ecclesia semper reformanda . The Church always needs to be renewed since her members are sinners and continually need to be converted.

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