Cardinal Michael Czerny Cardinal Michael Czerny 

Czerny: God's way is different, He never grows tired or weary

In his address for the closing Mass at the Pax Christi Conference, Cardinal Michael Czerny remarks on our need for “the peace of Christ” in a time where many questions and concerns arise in our hearts

By Edoardo Giribaldi

God does not grow tired or weary”: quoting these words of the prophet Isaiah, Cardinal Michael Czerny introduced the themes of peace and faith as the core concepts of his homily for the Closing Mass at the Pax Christi Conference.

The event, organized in collaboration with the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Union of Superiors General/International Union of Superiors General, has gathered church officials, theologians, and grassroots activists from all around the world to a conference entitled “Pope Francis, nonviolence, and the fullness of Pacem in Terris.”

God is on our side

Cardinal Czerny recognized the “many questions and concerns” arising in people’s hearts. “As Christians we are not so different from the apostles, locked up in the Upper Room on Easter evening, crushed by the weight of defeat”. Peace, along with the “breath of Christ that re-creates us,” are the gifts we seek to face these difficult times.

Cardinal Czerny later touched on the loss of faith that Christians might experience in their lives. “Much of what we 'say,' and indeed 'assert,' is oblivious to God's loving tender creating and saving gaze and his passion for our right”, the Cardinal said. “Right” is not a word to be reduced to the law context but, instead, to a concept that “reassures those who find no peace and no justice: God knows about you, He works for you, He fights for you. He is on your side.”

"Lift up your eyes"

Recalling prophet Isaiah’s words one more time, Cardinal Czerny invited Christians, especially in this period of Advent, to “lift up” their “eyes on high and see” (Is 40:26). Becoming complacent about difficulties is a great temptation, which might lead to lower our gaze and become absorbed by the present.

"For those who believe in peace, even amidst the night that envelops us, how precious are the words of the prophet pointing us to the stars: Who created these? He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name” (Is 40:26), the Cardinal affirmed, remembering the terrible scenes that unfold in front of our eyes, “with the horrors that force people to migrate, flee, or fight, and die.”

The peace of Christ empowers our dreams

Pope Francis’s encyclicals Laudato si’ and Fratelli tutti are indicated as recipients of “a great dream of peace with the women and men whom God loves, whatever faith, people, or nation they belong to. For the peace of Christ empowers us to dream, just as Jesus himself dreamt as he slept peacefully even amidst the storm at sea. We are in the same boat, the one in which the Lord sleeps, and he is still with us and invites us to have faith.”

Cardinal Czerny underlined the importance for a Christian to be filled with the peace of Christ, as “God’s dreams set us in motion,” recalling Jesus’ words in St Matthew’s Gospel: “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

Start from the little ones

Most of the time, according to Cardinal Czerny, “God changes the world by starting from the little ones.” God's way is different, and we are therefore invited to “pay attention to the little ones, let us listen to them: they will evangelize us.”

Only then, Cardinal Czerny concluded, will we be able to experience the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted, but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:30-31).

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07 December 2022, 12:35