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Feast day recalls grace, foundation, reform of Church

(Vatican Radio) At the morning mass at Santa Marta, Pope Francis underlined the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, which the Church celebrates on Saturday.

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The Pope recalled how the feast day is also the feast of the city of Rome, the Church of Rome and the Universal Church. The Lateran Basilica (or the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome) is the cathedral of Rome and “Mother of all the churches urbe et orbe”.

The Pope addressed the “three icons” in the day’s readings, which speak of the Church. From the first reading of Ezekiel and in Psalm 45, the icon of the river that runs from the Temple and in which the city of God rejoices is the image of the grace that sustains and nurtures the life of the Church. In the second reading of Saint Paul to the Corinthians, the icon of the rock, which is Jesus Christ, is the foundation on which the Church is built.

The Gospel reading of the purification of the Temple is the icon of the reform of the Church—“Ecclesia semper reformanda”—because the members of the Church are always sinners and in need of conversion.

The Pope concluded inviting the faithful to pray so that the Church may always let the waters of grace flow, that it may be founded always on Christ and remain faithful, and that its members allow themselves to be always converted by Jesus.

Report by Laura Ieraci