Far from the world

2013-05-01 L’Osservatore Romano

Peace, true peace, cannot be bought.  It is a gift of God – a gift he offers to his Church and in order to obtain it Christians must continue to entrust the Church to God, who alone can take care of her and defend her from the wiles of the Evil One. He who offers man a different kind of peace, a worldly peace, not true peace. This was the sense of Pope Francis' reflection on Tuesday morning, 30 April, during the Mass celebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.  The second group of collaborators of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See participated with others and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno concelebrated the Mass.

The fulcrum of the Pope's reflection was the word “commitment” which appeared twice in the First Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles (14:19-28): the first time when, at Perga, the apostles committed the elders to the Lord; the second time when they returned to Antioch, “where they had been commended to the grace of God”.  Therefore, the apostles and the elders were entrusted to the Lord: “this means entrusting the Church to the Lord”, said the Pontiff.  The Church can be looked after, she can be taken care of, can't she?  We must do this with our work; but, what the Lord does is most important: he alone can look the Devil in the face and conquer him.  “The ruler of this world is coming.  He has no power over me”:if we do not want the ruler of this world to lay hands on the Church, we must commit her to the Only One who can overcome the ruler of this world”.  The Pope asked, however, “do we pray for the Church? For the whole Church? For our brethren, whom we do not know, everywhere in the world?”  It is the Lord's Church, spread throughout the world and when “we say in our prayer to the Lord: Lord, look upon your Church” we understand this Church, the Lord's Church, the Church which reunites “our brethren”.  It is this prayer that, the Holy Father repeated, “we must offer with our heart – and ever more often.  It is easy for us to pray for a grace, when we have need of something; and it is not difficult to pray to thank the Lord: thank you for....  But to pray for the Church, for those who do not know her, yet who are our brothers and sisters because they have received the same Baptism, and to say to the Lord: 'they are yours, they are ours...protect them'”, is something else: it means “to entrust the Church to the Lord”; it is “a prayer that makes the Church grow” but it is also “an act of faith.  We ourselves can do nothing, we are all but poor servants of the Church: yet it is He who can carry her on, safeguard her, make her to grow, make her holy, protect her, that is, from the 'prince of this world'... who wishes to make the Church more and more worldly”.

“To pray for the entrustment of the Church will do us good and it will benefit the Church; it will give great peace to us and to the Church.  It will not remove our tribulations, but it will make us strong in our trials.  Thus, let us beg for this grace to have the habit of entrusting the Church to the Lord”.