Pope Francis held his weekly general audience on Wednesday, focusing this time on
the Church as the Body of Christ. The public meeting is an opportunity for pilgrims
and tourists visiting Rome to be able see and hear the Pope, and also receive his
blessing. The general audience of June 19th was held in the open, in
Rome’s St. Peter’s Square. It began with aides reading a passage from the First Letter
of St. Paul to the Corinthians in several languages.
Listen to scripture passage:
Basing himself on the scripture passage, Pope Francis delivered his main discourse in Italian - summaries of which were then read out by aides in various languages, including in English.
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, today we consider the Church as the Body of Christ. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, received in Baptism, we are mystically united to the Lord as members of one body, of which he is the head. The image of the mystical body makes us realize the importance of strengthening our union with Christ through daily prayer, the study of God’s word and participation in the sacraments. Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that the Body of Christ, while one, is made up of a variety of members. Within the communion of the Church, and in union with the Pope and Bishops, each of us has a part to play, a gift to share, a service to offer, for building up the Body of Christ in love. Let us ask the Lord to help us reject every form of divisiveness and conflict in our families, parishes and local Churches. At the same time, let us ask for the grace to open our hearts to others, to promote unity and to live in harmony as members of the one Body of Christ, inspired by the gift of love which the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts.
Pope Francis greeted the various language groups mostly in Italian.
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the West Indies and the United States. May your stay in the Eternal City confirm you in love for our Lord and for his Body which is the Church. God bless you all!