Pope slams inhuman violence in Syria, notes that ‘evil cannot be fought with other evil’
“The transfiguration helps the disciples, and us too, to understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but is above all a gift of infinite love on the part of Jesus. The event of Jesus who transfigures himself on the mountain helps us to better understand also his resurrection.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis made a “heartfelt appeal” during the Angelus for an end to the violence in Syria, for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and for the evacuation of the sick and wounded.
After the Marian prayer the pontiff turned his thoughts "to the beloved and martyred Syria, where war has intensified, especially in eastern Ghouta.”
“The month of February has been one of the most violent in seven years of conflict: hundreds, thousands of civilian victims, children, women, the elderly; hospitals have been hit; people cannot find anything to eat. . . . All this is inhuman,” Francis said.
“Evil cannot be fought with other evil. And war is evil. Therefore, I address my heartfelt appeal for the immediate end to violence, and that access be given to humanitarian aid – food and medicine – and that the wounded and the sick be evacuated. Let us pray to God that this happens without delay.”
Earlier, the pope spoke to the 30,000 people present in S. Peter's Square, commenting on today's Gospel passage on the transfiguration of Jesus (cf. Mk 9: 2-10), underlining how such event “allows the disciples to face the passion of Jesus in a positive way, without being overwhelmed. They saw him as he would be after the Passion, and so he prepares them. The transfiguration helps the disciples, and us too, to understand that the passion of Christ is a mystery of suffering, but is above all a gift of infinite love on the part of Jesus.
“The event of Jesus who transfigures himself on the mountain helps us to better understand also his resurrection. To understand them, in fact, it is necessary to know in advance that the One who suffers and who is glorified is not only a man, but [also] the Son of God, who saved us with his faithful love onto death. The Father thus renews his messianic declaration on the Son, already made on the banks of the Jordan after his baptism, and exhorts [us] to ‘Listen to him!’ (Mk 9: 7).
“The disciples are called to follow the Master with trust and hope, despite his death; Jesus’s divinity has to manifest itself precisely on the cross, precisely in his dying ‘that way’, to the extent that here the Evangelist Mark puts into centurion’s mouth the profession of faith: ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’ (Mk 15:39)."
"Let us now turn to the Virgin Mary in prayer, the human creature inwardly transfigured by the grace of Christ. Let us entrust ourselves to her motherly help in order to continue the journey of Lent with faith and generosity.”