Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Never again war", persecutions, sufferings, arms trafficking. This was the rallying call made by Pope Francis on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with Japan's surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.
"In these days – were the words he spoke at the end of the general - the Far East is commemorating the conclusion of World War II. I renew my fervent prayer to the Lord of all that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the world today no longer experience the horrors and the appalling suffering of such tragedies. But she does! This is also the permanent plea of the people, especially those who are victims of various bloody conflicts. Persecuted minorities, persecuted Christians, the madness of the destruction and then those manufacturing and trafficking weapons, bloodied weapons, weapons bathed in the blood of so many innocent people. Never again war! It is the anguished cry that from our hearts and the hearts of all men and women of good will that rises to the Prince of Peace. "
Earlier, in his address to the 20 thousand people in St. Peter's Square for the general audience, Francis spoke of the family’s responsibility in "communicating the faith, transmitting the faith, both internally and externally". He noted that there is a need – even within the Church - to restore "the role of protagonist to families who hear the word of God and put it into practice," because "the alliance of the family with God is called today to combat the community desertification that plagues the modern city. This is the family’s victory. No economic or political engineering can replace this contribution of families".
When Jesus affirms the primacy of faith in God, "of course he does not want to delete the fourth commandment with this, which is the first great commandment to the people. The first three relate to God, this one to people ... this is great! Nor can we think that the Lord, having completed his first miracle for the newlyweds at Cana, after consecrating the marriage bond between the man and the woman, having returned sons and daughters in family to life, asks us to be insensitive to these bonds! That is not the explanation, no. On the contrary, when Jesus, does not find a more meaningful comparison to family ties. And, on the other hand, these same family ties, are transformed in the experience of faith and love of God, they are 'filled' with a greater meaning and become capable of going beyond themselves, to create a wider fatherhood and motherhood, and to welcome even those who are on the margins of such ties, as brothers and sisters. One day, responding to those who told him that his mother and his brothers were outside looking for him, Jesus replied, pointing to his disciples, said "Behold my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is for me brother, sister and mother '".
"The experience of affections that cannot be bought or sold is the greatest quality of the family genius. It is in the family that we learn to grow in an atmosphere of wisdom of affections. We learn the "grammar" there, on that otherwise is very difficult to learn. And this is the language through which God makes himself understood by all. "
"The invitation to place our family affections in obedience to our faith and covenant with the Lord does not mortify them; on the contrary, it protects them, frees them from selfishness, guards them from degradation, leads them to safety and a life that never ends. The circulation of a family life style in human relations is a blessing to people: it restores hope on earth. When family affections are allowed to become a testimony of the Gospel, they become capable of unthinkable things, which allow us to touch the works of God, those works that God accomplishes in history, like those that Jesus has done for the men, women, children he encountered. One smile miraculously snatched from the despair of an abandoned child, who starts to live again, explains God's action in the world more than a thousand theological treatises. One man or one woman, willing to take risks and make sacrifices for the child of anther, and not just for their own, they explain things of love that many scientists are no longer able to understand. And where we find these family affections, these gestures come from the heart and speak louder than words ... the gesture of love! This makes us think".
"The family that responds to the call of Jesus' restores guidance of the world’s direction to the alliance of men and women with God. Think of the development of this witness today. Imagine that the rudder of history (of society, economy, politics) being delivered - finally! – to the alliance of man and woman, so that they govern with their gaze fixed on the future generation. The issues of land and housing, the economy and employment, would play a very distinct, different music"
"If – even within the Church - we restore the role of protagonist to families who hear the word of God and put it into practice, we will become like good wine of Cana, we will ferment like the yeast of God! In fact, the alliance of the family with God is called today to combat the community desertification of the modern city. Our cities have become like deserts due to lack of love, lack of smiles. A lot... a lot of amusements. So many things to waste our time on, to make people laugh, but there is a lack of love. It is the family! It is the family, the father, the mother who work with the children ... The smile of a family is able to conquer this desertification of our cities. This is the family’s victory. No economic or political engineering can replace this contribution of families. The project of Babel builds lifeless skyscrapers. The Spirit of God, instead, makes deserts bloom (Is 32:15). We have to get out of the towers and the vaults of the elites, to attend again the houses and open spaces of the multitudes, open to the love of families. "
"The communion of charisms - those donated to the sacrament of marriage and those granted to the consecration for the Kingdom of God - is destined to transform the church into a place fully familiar for an encounter with God. Let us go forward on this path, we do not lose hope. Where there is a family with love, the family is able to warm the heart of an entire city with its testimony of love. Pray for me, pray for each other, so that we are able to recognize and support the visits of God. The Spirit will bring happy turmoil to Christian homes, and the city of man make recover from its depression".