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Pope Francis: True peace comes through the Cross

Banner pope francis and the cross at the liturgy of the lords passion at st peters basilica on april 3 2015 credit  losservatore romano cna 4 3 15

Pope Francis and the cross at the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion at St. Peter's Basilica on April 3, 2015. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.

Vatican City, May 16, 2017 / 01:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Only God can give true peace amid tribulations, Pope Francis said in his May 16 homily at his Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. “A peace without a cross is not the peace of Jesus,” the Pope said. “The world teaches us the way to anesthetized peace: it anesthetizes us from seeing another reality of life: the Cross.”

“This is why Paul says that one must enter into the Kingdom of Heaven on the road with many tribulations,” he added. “The peace that the world offers us is a peace without tribulations.” The world offers an artificial peace that is reduced to mere tranquility, he said. This kind of peace is “only concerned about one’s affairs and one’s security” – but it is ultimately ineffective, because “tribulations are there, whether pain, illness or death.” “But the peace that Jesus gives is a gift: it is a gift of the Holy Spirit; and this peace lasts through tribulations and beyond.”

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis in his homily focused on Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, as recounted in the Gospel of John: “I leave you peace, my peace I give you.” The Pope said it is not possible to obtain peace amid tribulation though human effort. Instead, God’s peace is “a gift that keeps us going.”

“God’s peace is real peace, that enters the reality of life, that does not deny life; that is life. There is suffering, there are the sick people, there are many bad things, there are wars ... but that peace within, which is a gift, is not lost, but goes ahead bearing the Cross and suffering,” he continued. “Peace without the Cross is not the peace of Jesus: it is a peace that can be bought. But it does not last; it comes to an end.”

Pope Francis said that when he gets angry, he loses peace. When his heart is troubled, “it is because I am not open to the peace of Jesus,” because he is unable to “bear life as it comes, with its crosses and sorrows that accompany it.”

Concluding his homily, the pontiff cited St. Augustine’s words: “The life of the Christian is a journey between the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God.” The Pope prayed: “May the Lord make us understand well what this peace is which He gives us with the Holy Spirit.”    

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