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'How is your faith,' Pope asks pilgrims

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During his address for Sunday’s Angelus message in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis bluntly challenged pilgrims and Romans alike as to the state of their relationship with Jesus Christ and the position of the Faith within their life. Using Sunday’s Gospel as the text of example, Francis said that just as Peter was forced to declare who Christ is, so are we. “Brothers and sisters, what happened in a unique way in Saint Peter, also takes place in every Christian who develops a sincere faith in Jesus the Christ,” the Pope explained to the crowds. “Today's Gospel challenges each of us: How is your faith? Let each of us answer in our heart. How is your faith? How is it? What does the Lord find in our hearts: a firm heart, like a rock? Or a heart like sand, that is, doubtful, mistrustful, unbelieving?”

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“If the Lord finds in our hearts a faith – I won’t say perfect, but sincere, genuine, then he will see in us, too, the living rocks on which he builds his community,” the Pope taught. “For this community, the foundation stone is Christ, the unique cornerstone. For his part, Peter is the rock, as the visible foundation of the unity of the Church; but every baptized person is called to offer to Jesus his or her own faith, poor but sincere, so that He can continue to build His Church, today, in every part of the world.” Jesus gave Simon the name Peter, which means “rock” in Aramaic, “not for his own personal qualities or his human merits, but on account of his genuine and firm faith, which comes from on high,” the Pope said. “Jesus feels a great joy in his heart, because he recognizes in Simon the hand of the father, the action of the Holy Spirit. He recognizes that God the father has given Simon a 'dependable' faith, upon which he, Jesus, can build his Church, that is, his community, that is, all of us. All of us.”

“Our relationship with Jesus builds the Church. And so to begin His Church Jesus needs to find in His disciples a solid faith, 'dependable' faith. This is what He must confirm at this point in the journey, and this is why he asks the question,” the Pontiff declared.

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