"The cornerstone of the Church is our Lord in front of the Father who intercedes on our behalf, who is praying for us. We pray to Him but the key thing is that He is praying for us” said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Santa Marta.
Taking his cue from the Gospel reading from Luke (6,12-16) recounting
how Jesus spent the night in prayer before choosing his disciples, the
Pope’s homily reflected on the fundamental importance of prayer for
Christians. He said whilst Jesus is the cornerstone of the Church and
there is no Church without Him, the key to this cornerstone is Jesus who
is praying for us.
“‘Jesus went up to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in
prayer to God.’ And then the rest followed, the crowds, the choosing of
his disciples, the healings, the casting out of demons… Yes, the
cornerstone is Jesus but Jesus who prays. Jesus is praying. He prayed
and he continues to pray for the Church. The cornerstone of the Church
is our Lord in front of the Father who intercedes on our behalf, who is
praying for us. We pray to Him but the key thing is that He is praying
Pope Francis went on to describe how Jesus always prayed for his
followers, be it at the Last Supper or before performing a miracle such
as when he prayed to the Father before raising Lazarus from the dead.
“Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives, on the Cross, he ended praying:
his life ended in prayer. And this is our security, this is our
foundation, this is our cornerstone: Jesus who is praying for us! Jesus
who is praying for me! And each of us can say this: I am certain that
Jesus is praying for me; that he is in front of the Father and naming
me. This is the cornerstone of the Church: Jesus in prayer.”
Another example of Jesus praying for his followers, said the Pope,
came before his Passion when Jesus told Peter he had been praying for
him to withstand Satan’s temptation and for his faith to hold firm.
“And what Jesus tells Peter, he tells you and you and me, everybody:
‘I have prayed for you, I am praying for you, I am now praying for you’
and when He comes onto the altar, He comes to intercede, to pray for us.
As he did on the Cross. And this gives us a great sense of security. I
belong to this community that’s solid because Jesus is its cornerstone,
Jesus who is praying for me, who is praying for us. Today we’d do well
to reflect on the Church, reflect on this mystery of the Church. We are
all like a building but its foundation is Jesus, Jesus who is praying
for us, Jesus who is praying for me.”