Pope: Attack in New Zealand, close to "our Muslim brothers" to fight hatred and violence with prayer and gestures of peace

At the Angelus, Pope Francis calls for a moment of silent prayer for those killed in the two mosques in Christchurch. The Christian vision of suffering is not "sadomasochistic". The Transfiguration shows that suffering "is a necessary but transitory passage". Prayer transforms people and makes them bright.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Tackling hatred and violence" with "prayer and gestures of peace": this is Pope Francis' invitation to everyone to be close to "our Muslim brothers and all the community" of New Zealand after the terrorist attack on the two mosques in Christchurch, which has  killed 50 people. Already two days ago the Pope had sent a telegram of condolence, imitated by many Churches in Asia.

Today, at the end of the Angelus prayer with the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the pontiff recalled the bloody episode, inviting people to pray: "Dear brothers and sisters, in these days,  the pain caused by wars and conflicts that ceaselessly  afflict humanity, includes pain for the victims of the horrible attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand . I pray for the dead and the wounded and their families. I am close to our Muslim brothers and to that whole community, and I renew the invitation to unite with prayer and gestures of peace to oppose hatred and violence. Let us pray together, in silence, for our Muslim brothers who have been killed. "

Speaking previously to the tens of thousands of faithful gathered, Francis explained the meaning of the reading of the Gospel of today's Mass, that of the Transfiguration (2da of Lent, C, Luke 9: 28-36).

In this way, Jesus wants to prepare his disciples "to endure the scandal of the passion and death of the cross, so that they know that this is the way through which the heavenly Father will bring His chosen Son to glory, raising him from the dead".

The Christian vision of suffering, he added, is not "sadomasochistic". "The Transfiguration of Christ shows us the Christian perspective of suffering: it is a necessary but transitory passage ... By showing his glory, Jesus assures us that the cross, the trials, the difficulties in which we struggle have their solution and their overcoming in Easter ”.

The invitation is then to rise "we too on the mountain with Jesus! How? With prayer ”.

"In fact, the evangelist Luke insists that Jesus was transfigured" while he prayed "(v. 29). He had immersed himself in an intimate conversation with the Father, in which also the Law and the Prophets - Moses and Elijah - resounded, and while he adhered with the whole of himself to the will of salvation of the Father, including the cross, the glory of God invaded him revealing itself externaly . This is so: prayer in Christ and in the Holy Spirit transforms the person from within and can illuminate others and the surrounding world. How often have we met people who illuminate, who have that bright look ... Prayer does this. May we continue our Lenten journey with joy. May we give space to prayer and to the Word of God, which the liturgy offers us abundantly in these days. May the Virgin Mary teaches us to stay with Jesus even when we do not understand it and do not understand it. Because only by remaining with him will we see his glory ".