Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Jesus is our peace, He is our reconciliation! But this peace is not neutrality, it is not compromise at all costs. Following Jesus means renouncing evil, selfishness and choosing good, truth, justice, even when it requires sacrifice and the renunciation of one's own interests". These were the words of Pope Francis at the Angelus today with the pilgrims in St Peter's Square. The pontiff took his cue from a Jesus' words in the Sunday Gospel (XX year, C, Luke 12,) when he says: Do you think that I have come to extablish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division"(Luke 12:51). And Francis points out that this word "troubles us, and ... has to be explained, otherwise it can lead to misunderstanding."
"Jesus says to his disciples:" Do you think I came to bring peace on
earth? No, I tell you, but division "(Luke 12:51). What does this
mean? It means that faith is not a decorative, ornamental thing, you do not
decorate your life with a little bit of religion". "Faith - he adds
in an unscripted reflection - is not a decoration, as if it were simply the
icing on the cake!"
"No Faith involves choosing God as your fundamental criterion for life, and God is not empty, He is not neutral, God is love! After Jesus came into the world, we can no longer act as if we do not know God. God has a face, He has a name: God is mercy, He is faithfulness, He is life-giving. This is why Jesus says: I have come to bring division, not that Jesus wants to divide people from each other, on the contrary, Jesus is our peace, He is reconciliation! But this peace is not neutrality, it is not compromise at any cost. This peace is not the peace of the grave! Following Jesus means renouncing evil, selfishness and choosing good, truth, justice, even when it requires sacrifice and renunciation of one's own interests. And this divide, we know, also divides the closest bonds. But beware: it is not Jesus who divides! He places the criterion: live for yourself, or live for God and for others; be served, or serve; obey the self, or obey God. This is how Jesus is a "sign of contradiction" (Lk 2:34). "
The Pope also pointed to another consequence: "This word from the Gospel does not authorize the use of force to spread the faith. It does the exact opposite: the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which involves renouncing all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible". And he added speaking off the cuff: "Faith and violence are incompatible. Instead faith and courage go together".
Previously, he also cited a passage from the second reading
of today's Mass (Hebrews 12:1-4): " let us rid ourselves of every burden
and sin that clings to us, and persevere in running the race that lies before
us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of
faith."(Heb 12:1-2). "It's an expression - he added - that we must
emphasize especially in this Year of Faith. We too, throughout this year, we
must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, because faith, which is our" yes
"to the relationship with God, comes from Him: He is the only mediator of
this relationship between us and our Father who is in heaven. Jesus is the Son,
and in Him we are children. "
After the Marian prayer, he added spontaneously: "Remember this: Following Jesus is not a decorative thing because faith is the strength of the soul." He then asked those present to pray "for the victims of the ferry disaster in the Philippines and their families" (see: Cebu, ferry sinks leaving 28 dead and over 270 missing)
Finally he added: "We continue to pray for peace in Egypt." And he prompted pilgrims in the square to pray together: "Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us".