Pope Francis Santa Marta Mass Christians Peace and War 09.01.20
Pope Francis: We cannot be Christians if we are sowers of war in our family, in our neighbourhood and our workplace 09.01.20
Pope Francis 09.01.20 Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae) Thursday after Epiphany Year A 1 John 4: 11-18
We all must ask ourselves about peace at home, whether our hearts are at peace or are anxious, always at war, in tension to gain something more, to dominate, to make ourselves heard. The peace of the people or of a country is sown in the heart. If we do not have peace in our hearts, as we think, will there be peace in the world? Yet , normally we don't think about it. Todays first reading of St John the Apostle points us the way, the path to peace within: to remain in the Lord.
Where the Lord is there is peace. It is He who makes peace, it is the Holy Spirit that he sends to make peace within us. If we remain in the Lord, our hearts will be at peace; and if we habitually remain in the Lord when we slip on a sin or defect, it will be the Spirit that makes us know this mistake, this slip. Stay in the Lord. And how do we stay in the Lord? The Apostle says, "If we love each other." That is the answer, this is the secret of peace.
True love is not that of soap operas and television shows but what drives us to speak good of others: otherwise, if I can't speak well I should close my mouth, and do not talk about it and I should not say bad things. Because speaking ill of other and skinning them is war. Love shows itself in the little things because if there is war in my heart there will be war in my family, there will be war in my neighbourhood and there will be war in the workplace. Jealousies, envy, slander lead us to wage war with each other. They destroy, they are like dirt. Let us once again reflect on how many times we speak in a spirit of peace and how many with a spirit of war, how many times we are able to say: everyone has his sins, I look at mine and others will have theirs , so you close the mouth.
Usually our way of acting in the family, in the neighbourhood, in the workplace is an attitude of war: to destroy the other, to dirty the other. And this is not love, this is not the sure peace that we have asked for in prayer. When we do this, there is no Holy Spirit. And this happens to each of us, each. The reaction comes to immediately condemn the other. Whether you are a lay person, a priest, a religious person, a bishop, a Pope, everyone, everyone. It is the temptation of the devil to wage war.
And when the devil manages to make us wage war and lights that fire, he is happy, he does not have to work anymore: we are working to destroy each other, we carry on the war, the destruction, destroying first ourselves, because we throw out love, and then the others. In fact he is dependent on this habit of dirtying others: it is a seed that the devil has put inside us.
Let us pray a secure peace, which is the gift of the Holy Spirit, by trying to remain in the Lord.
In the first reading in todays liturgy St. John urges Christians on the path to peace by remaining in the Lord with the love that is seen in little things.
When we talk about peace we immediately think of wars and that there are no wars in the world, that there is secure peace, it is the image that always comes to us, peace and not wars, but always in another country or another situation. Even today, with many fires of war burning, our minds immediately go there when we speak of peace, when we pray that the Lord will give us peace. And that is fine: and we must pray for peace in the world, we must always have before us this gift of God which is peace and ask for it for everyone.
We cannot be Christians if we are sowers of war in our family, in our neighbourhood and our workplace. May the Lord give us the Holy Spirit to remain in Him and teach us to love, simply, without making war on others.