During the Papal audience of 26th June 2013, Pope Francis continued his Catechesis of the Year of Faith with the theme: The Church as the Temple of the Holy Spirit. He carries the same them of last week when he talked about the nature of the Church as the Body of Christ.
Taking the image of the Temple as seen is the Sacred Scripture, the Pope stresses that the Church is the dwelling place of God and a place of encounter with the living God. The Church is vivified by the life and power of the Holy Spirit. Pope Francis makes reference to the Old Testament understanding that Temple of Jerusalem was understood as the place of encounter with the God of Israel. He said, “In Jerusalem, the great Temple of Solomon was the site of the encounter with God in prayer; inside the temple there was the Ark of the Covenant, a sign of the presence of God in the midst of the people.”
In the New Testament, the communities of Christians, who are made into the Body of Christ by Baptism, are presented as the living stones of the spiritual house, who is Christ. The Pope says, “We are the living stones of God, profoundly united to Christ, who is the rock of support, and among ourselves.” It means that the communities of believers are the living stones who are brought together by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in each of one of us that makes into the one Family, the People of God.
Since we are living stones in the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Church, it means that God grants to each one us a variety of gifts for the edification of the Church. The Pope says, “being living stones tell us that no one is useless in the Church – no one is useless in the Church! No one is useless in the Church. We are all needed in order to build this temple. No one is secondary: “Ah, I am the most important one in the Church!” No! We are all equal in the eyes of God. But, one of you might say, “Mr. Pope, sir, you are not equal to us.” But I am just like each of you. We are all equal. We are all brothers and sisters. No one is anonymous: all form and build the Church. Nevertheless, it also invites us to reflect on the fact that the Temple wants the brick of our Christian life that something is wanting in the beauty of the Church.”