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Pope Francis at Mass at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta on October 26, 2018. Pope Francis at Mass at the Vatican's Casa Santa Marta on October 26, 2018.  (Vatican Media)

Pope at Mass: humility, gentleness and patience lead to peace

At Friday’s Mass in Santa Marta, Pope Francis invited Christians to "build" and "consolidate" unity in today's world, where even international institutions feel helpless in reaching peace agreements.

By Robin Gomes

The path to peace in the world, in our societies and also in our families is that of humility, gentleness, and patience. This was the heart of the message of Pope Francis in his homily at Mass Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

He was reflecting on the day’s First Reading, where St. Paul from the solitude of his imprisonment was writing to the Ephesians a true "hymn to unity", recalling the "dignity of vocation".

Difficulty in making peace

The Pope observed that Paul’s solitude would accompany him until his death in Rome, because Christians were “too busy” in their "internal struggles".   And before Paul, he said, Jesus Himself  “asked for the grace of unity from the Father for all of us.”

Yet, the Pope noted, today we are "used to breathing the air of conflict".  Every day, on the TV and in newspapers, we hear about conflicts and wars "one after the other", "without peace, without unity”.   Agreements made to stop conflicts, he said, are ignored, thus the arms race and preparation for war and destruction go ahead.

The Pope noted that even world institutions created with the best of intentions for peace and unity, fail to come to an agreement because of a veto here and an interest there ...  While they are struggling to arrive at peace agreements, children have no food, no school, no education and hospitals because the war has destroyed everything.  

The Holy Father noted there is a tendency to destruction, war and disunity in us. It is the tendency that the devil, the enemy and destroyer of humanity sows in our hearts.  Referring to Paul the Pope said the Apostle teaches us that the journey of unity is, so to say, clad or “armoured' with the bond of peace.  Peace, he said, leads to unity.

Opening hearts

The Pope then encouraged all to adopt a behaviour that is worthy of "the call" that is received, "with all humility, gentleness and patience”.

The Holy Father said that we who are used to insulting and shouting at each other, need to make peace and unity among us with gentleness and patience ".   

The Pope urged Christians to open their hearts and make peace in the world taking the path of the “three little things”  - "humility, gentleness and patience".  He drew attention to the practical advice of Paul to “bear with one another in love".  The Holy Father acknowledged it’s easy not as there is always a judgement, a condemnation which leads to separation and distances…

Agreement at the start

The Pope also pointed out that when a rift is created between members of the family, the devil is happy with the start of war .  The advice is then to bear with one another because we always have an excuse to be annoyed and impatient because we are all sinners with defects.  St. Paul, inspired by Jesus at the Last Supper who urged for “one body and one spirit”,  thus urges us to “preserve the unity of spirit through the bond of peace".

The next step, the Pope said is to see the horizon of peace with God, just as Jesus made us see the horizon of peace with prayer:  “Father, may they be one, as You and I are one'.  The Pope recalled the day’s Gospel of Luke where Jesus advises us to strike an agreement with our adversary along the way.  The Pope said it’s good advice, because "it is not difficult to come to an agreement at the beginning of a conflict".

The Pope said the advice of Jesus is to settle the matter and make peace at the beginning, which calls for humility, gentleness and patience.  One can build peace throughout the world with these little things, which are the attitudes of Jesus who is humble, meek and forgives everything.  

The Pope said that today we, the world, our families and our society need peace.  He invited Christians to start putting into practice humility, gentleness and patience saying this is the path to making peace and consolidating unity. 

26 October 2018, 14:06
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