We are now "used to breathing the air of conflict". Every day, on TV and in newspapers, the talk is about conflicts, "one after the other". For the pontiff, "we see even world institutions, created with the best of intention to help the unity of humanity, peace, feel unable to reach an agreement". Hence, we should follow “Jesus’s advice: to agree at the beginning, make peace at the beginning".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – At today’s Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that peace can be built with humility, gentleness and magnanimity, a peace that the world today is struggling to find and that world institutions feel incapable of securing.
The Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians inspired the Holy Father who noted that, from the solitude of his imprisonment, the apostle addressed Christians a true “hymn to unity”, stressing the "dignity of vocation".
Such solitude accompanied Saint Paul to his death at the place called “Three Fountains” because “Christians were too busy" in their "internal struggles". Jesus himself, "before dying, at the Last Supper, asked the Father for the grace of unity for all of us."
Yet we are now "used to breathing the air of conflict". Every day, on TV and in newspapers, the talk is about conflicts, "one after the other", wars, "without peace, without unity". Even if parties "make deals" to stop conflicts, these agreements are disregarded. Thus, "the career of armaments, the preparation for war, destruction, go on".
"We see even world institutions, created with the best of intentions to help the unity of humanity, peace, feel unable to reach an agreement: there is a veto here, an interest there ... And they struggle to reach peace agreements. Meanwhile, children have no food, do not go to school, are not educated; there are no hospitals because war destroys everything.
“Ours is a tendency towards destruction, war, disunity. It is the tendency that plants in our hearts the enemy, the destroyer of humanity: the devil. Paul, in this passage, teaches us the path towards unity, which, he says: 'Unity is covered, it is 'armoured’, we can say, with the bond of peace'. Peace leads to unity."
This calls for behaviour worthy "of the calling" received, "with all humility, gentleness and magnanimity". In order "To make peace, unity among us, 'humility, sweetness – we who are used to insulting, shouting ... sweetness – and magnanimity' [are needed]. Let it go but open your heart.”
“Can we make peace in the world with these three little things? Yes, it's the way. Can we reach unity? Yes, that [is the] way: 'humility, sweetness and magnanimity'.
“Paul is practical and continues with very practical advice: putting up with one another in love'. Put up with one another. That is not easy. There is always some judgment, condemnation, which leads to separation, distance ..."
This happens, the Pope noted, even when creating distance between the members of the same family. And this makes "the devil happy"; it is "the beginning of war". The advice is "to put up [. . .] because we can be a nuisance, cause impatience, because we all are sinners, we all have our faults".
Saint Paul recommends "to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace, [. . .], most certainly under the inspiration of the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: 'One body and one spirit'". He "goes on to show us the horizon of peace, with God; as Jesus showed us the horizon of peace in prayer: 'Father, may they be one, as You and I'. [That is] Unity.”
Francis goes on to stress that in today's Gospel (Lk 12:54-59), Jesus’s advice is to reach an agreement with our adversaries "along the way". For the Holy Father, this is "good advice" because "it is not difficult to find an agreement at the beginning of a conflict".
"Jesus’s advice is to come to an agreement at the beginning, make peace at the beginning: this is humility, this is sweetness, this is magnanimity. You can build peace in the whole world with these little things, because these attitudes are Jesus’s attitude [for he was] humble, meek, forgiving of everything.”
“The world today needs peace, we need peace, our families need peace, our society needs peace. Let's start at home and practise these simple things: magnanimity, sweetness, humility. Let’s go forward this way: of always making unity, consolidating unity. May the Lord help us on this journey."