“Many people have been wounded, and many innocent people have died”, including children. “This is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that we want to destroy the future rather than build it.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “In the name of God”, Pope Francis has called for a stop to the fighting and for reconciliation between Israel and Hamas.
Following today’s Regina Caeli, the pontiff expressed “great concern” over the violence that “risks degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction”, adding that “Many people have been wounded, and many innocent people have died”, including children. “This is terrible and unacceptable. Their death is a sign that we want to destroy the future rather than build it.”
In his address, Francis noted that “the crescendo of hatred and violence in various cities in Israel is a serious wound to fraternity and peaceful coexistence among citizens, which will be difficult to heal unless we immediately start a dialogue. I wonder: Where will this hatred and revenge lead? Do we really think that we're building peace by destroying the other?”
“‘In the name of God who has created all human beings equal in rights, duties and dignity, and who has called them to live together as brothers and sisters (cf. Document on Human Fraternity), I appeal for calm. To those who are in charge, I urge them to put an end to the sound of weapons and walk the paths of peace, also with the help of the international community.”
“Let us pray incessantly that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path to dialogue and forgiveness, so that they can be patient builders of peace and justice, opening themselves, step by step, to a shared hope of coexistence as brothers and sisters. Let us pray for the victims, especially the children.”
Before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Francis spoke about the Ascension, which is celebrated today in many countries, before a few thousand people present in St Peter's Square.
He said that “we must rejoice at seeing Jesus ascend to heaven” because “the Ascension completes Jesus' mission among us. In fact, if Jesus descended from heaven for us, it is always for us that he ascends there. After descending into our humanity and redeeming it, he now ascends to heaven carrying his flesh with it. He is the first man to enter heaven because Jesus is a real man, a real man and a real God. A human body now sits to the right of the Father, the body of Jesus, and each of us contemplates our future destination in this mystery.”
Jesus, the pontiff explained, “prays to the Father, and like God, man and God, he makes him see the wounds, the wounds with which he redeemed us. Jesus' prayer is there, with our flesh: He is one of us, God man, and prays for us. This must give us a security, indeed joy, great joy!
“And the second reason for joy is Jesus' promise. He told us: ‘I will send you the Holy Spirit.' And there, with the Holy Spirit, the commandment that he gives precisely in his leaving will be fulfilled: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel’. This will be the power of the Holy Spirit that leads us there in the world, to bring the Gospel.”