In his first mass, Francis said that Jesus “shakes us out of that negativity, that sense of resignation that makes us think we can have a better life if we escape from our problems” through consumerism. Peace is sown by reaching out to those who face difficulties, those who have not been treated as people.
Santiago (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis delivered the first homily of his Apostolic Visit to Chile during the Mass celebrated in Santiago’s O’Higgins Park before a colourful and festive crowd of almost half a million people, a noteworthy response to the controversy that had preceded his trip.
In his address, the pontiff focused on the Beatitudes, noting that when Jesus said “blessed the poor, the grieving, the afflicted, the patient, the merciful,” he did so to “cast out the inertia which paralyzes those who no longer have faith in the transforming power of God”.
In doing so, Jesus “shakes us out of that negativity, that sense of resignation that makes us think we can have a better life if we escape from our problems, shun others, hide within our comfortable existence, dulling our senses with consumerism.”
For the Holy Father, “Jesus’ heart was not moved by ideas or concepts, but by faces, persons. By life calling out for the Life that the Father wants to give us.”
Indeed, “This encounter [with others] gives rise to the catalogue of the Beatitudes, that horizon towards which we are called and challenged to set out. The Beatitudes are not the fruit of passivity in the face of reality, nor of a mere onlooker gathering grim statistics about current events. They are not the product of those prophets of doom who seek only to spread dismay. Nor are they born of those mirages that promise happiness with a single ‘click’, in the blink of an eye.”
Instead, “the Beatitudes are born of the compassionate heart of Jesus, which encounters the hearts of men and women seeking and yearning for a life of happiness. Men and women who know what it is to suffer, who appreciate the confusion and pain of having the earth shake beneath their feet or seeing dreams washed away when the work of a lifetime comes to nought. But men and women who also know what it is to persevere and struggle to keep going, what it is to rebuild their lives and to start again. How much the heart of the Chilean people knows about rebuilding and starting anew!”
“The Beatitudes are not the fruit of a hypercritical attitude or the ‘cheap words’ of those who think they know it all yet are unwilling to commit themselves to anything or anyone, and thus end up preventing any chance of generating processes of change and reconstruction in our communities and in our lives. The Beatitudes are born of a merciful heart that never loses hope. A heart that experiences hope as “a new day, a casting out of inertia, a shaking off of weariness and negativity” (Pablo Neruda, El habitante y su esperanza, 5).”
“The Beatitudes are that new day for all those who look to the future, who continue to dream, who allow themselves to be touched and sent forth by the Spirit of God.”
“Against the resignation that like a negative undercurrent undermines our deepest relationships and divides us, Jesus tells us: Blessed are those who work for reconciliation. Blessed are those ready to dirty their hands so that others can live in peace. Blessed are those who try not to sow division. That is how the Beatitude teaches us to be peacemakers. It asks us to try to make ever greater room for the spirit of reconciliation in our midst. Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be happy? Blessed are those who work so that others can be happy. Do you want peace? Then work for peace.”
“To sow peace by nearness, closeness! By coming out of our homes and looking at peoples’ faces, by going out of our way to meet someone having a difficult time, someone who has not been treated as a person, as a worthy son or daughter of this land. This is the only way we must forge a future of peace, to weave a fabric that will not unravel. A peacemaker knows that it is often necessary to overcome great or subtle faults and ambitions born of the desire for power and to ‘gain a name for oneself’, the desire to be important at the cost of others. A peacemaker knows that it is not enough simply to say: ‘I am not hurting anybody’. As Saint Alberto Hurtado used to say: ‘It is very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good’ (Meditación radial, April 1944).”