Syria, the Pope's appeal, “Joint Action for Peace”

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Syria, the Pope's appeal, “Joint Action for Peace”

By Giacomo Galeazzi/ lastampa.it

At Regina Coeli, Francis says he is “deeply troubled” and invokes the “instruments available to the international community” asking all politicians to “ensure that justice and peace prevail”.

Francis prayed for Syria and renewed his appeal ``to all those with political responsibilities to ensure that justice and peace prevail”. After reciting the Regina Coeli with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope once again focused on the Syrian crisis putting it at the center of the world agenda. Syria has been a geopolitical and humanitarian priority since the beginning of Francis' pontificate.

The Pontiff invites "all people of good will to pray incessantly for peace". He says: “I am deeply troubled by the current world situation, in which, despite the instruments available to the international community, there is still difficulty in agreeing to a common action in favour of peace in Syria and other regions of the world. ``

Already on 7 September 2013, during the vigil of prayer for peace in Syria, the Pontiff asked: "Is it possible to walk the path of peace? Can we get out of this spiral of sorrow and death? Can we learn once again to walk and live in the ways of peace? ».

And yesterday Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, announced that he had discussed with Francis the events so to "stop the bloodshed in Syria, and have come forward with this initiative knowing that the Christians cannot stay aside seeing what is happening in Syria. That was a significant peacemaking dialogue

Today, in introducing the Marian Prayer, Jorge Mario Bergoglio underlines how "the disciples' experience the Risen One is at the centre of this third Easter Sunday". Thesis especially highlighted in the Gospel passage in the Cenacle, when Jesus manifests himself to the Apostles, addressing them by saying: "Peace to you! ».

According to Francis, it is "both inner peace and the peace that is established in the relationships between people". The episode recounted by the evangelist Luke "insists a great deal on the realism of the Resurrection, in fact, it is not an apparition of the soul of Jesus, but of his real presence with the risen body", the Pope explains. "Jesus realizes that the Apostles are troubled to see him, that they are dismayed because the reality of the Resurrection is inconceivable to them - the Pontiff says - They believe they are seeing a ghost; but the risen Jesus is no ghost, he is a man with a body and soul". That is why he tells them: ``Look at my hands and my feet: it is me! Touch me and see; a ghost has no flesh and blood, as you see I have``. And since this does not seem to be enough to overcome their disbelief, Jesus asks his disciples: "Do you have anything to eat here? ``They offer him some roasted fish, Jesus takes it and eats it in front of them.

"Jesus' insistence on the reality of his Resurrection illuminates the Christian perspective over the body: it is not an obstacle or a prison of the soul - Jorge Mario Bergoglio points out - God created the body, and a person is not complete without the union between body and soul. Jesus, who overcame death and rose in body and soul, makes us understand that we must have a positive idea of our body. It, Francis continues, "can become an occasion or instrument of sin, but sin is not caused by the body, but by our moral weakness: the body is God`s wonderful gift, bound, in union with the soul, to express in fullness the image and resemblance of Him".

Therefore, "we are called to have great respect and care for our body and that of others: every offence or injury or violence to the body of our neighbour, is an outrage to God the Creator!"

The Pope's thought goes, in particular, "to children, women, the elderly mistreated in the body: in the flesh of these people we find the body of Christ. Derided, slandered, humiliated, scourged, crucified, Jesus taught us love``.

A love that, in his Resurrection, "proved more powerful than sin and death and wants to redeem all those who experience in their bodies the slavery of our times". Therefore, the Pope observes, "in a world where too often bullying against the weakest and suffocating materialism prevail, today's Gospel calls us to be people capable of looking deep down, full of wonder and great joy for having met the Risen Lord".

People who "know how to foster and value the newness of life that He sows in history, direct it towards new heavens and new lands. May the Virgin Mary, to whose maternal intercession we entrust ourselves with confidence, support us in this journey".

After the Regina Coeli, Francis recalls that today, in Vohipeno, Madagascar, the martyr Luciano Botovasoa was proclaimed blessed, "a father and consistent witness to Christ to the point of heroically giving his life: arrested and killed for having shown his will to remain faithful to the Lord and to the Church, he represents for all of us an example of charity and strength in faith".

Furthermore, the Pontiff adds, "with pain I received the news of the killing of the three men kidnapped at the end of March on the border between Ecuador and Colombia. I pray for them and their families, and I am close to the dear Ecuadorian people, encouraging them to move forward in unity and peace, with the help of the Lord and his Most Holy Mother".

Jorge Mario Bergoglio entrusts "to your prayer people, like Vincent Lambert in France, and little Alfie Evans in England, and others in different countries, who live, sometimes for a long time, in a state of serious infirmity, medically assisted for basic needs". They are "delicate, very painful and complex situations". Therefore, "we pray that every patient is always respected in their dignity and treated in a way that is suitable for their condition, with the joint effort of family members, doctors and other health workers". He greeted "with affection all of you, pilgrims from Italy and from many parts of the world: families, parish groups, schools, associations. I greet in particular the faithful of California; as well as those of Arluno, Pontelongo, Scandicci, Genoa-Pegli and Vibo Valentia; the children of the School "Daughters of Jesus" of Modena and the group "Friends of Paul VI" of Pescara".

To all he wishes "a good Sunday". And "Please, do not forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye! ».

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:51
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