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Pope at Angelus: ‘Like saints, be builders of peace’

A good way to get out of a cycle of self-pity or a negative mood is to help others, following the example of the Virgin Mary, who went to help her pregnant cousin Elizabeth, Pope Francis said on Sunday.
Pope Francis gives the Angelus address on December 19, 2021 (Photo: Vatican Media)

Speaking to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus on the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis reflected on today’s Gospel, the Beatitudes of Jesus (Mt 5:1-12), saying they serve as a form of "identity card" for the saints.

Rather than having the stereotypical view that all saints lived “perfect” and “precise” lives, the Pope said the Beatitudes rather show another side of the equation: the saints lived radically “countercultural” and “revolutionary" lives.

‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

Taking the example of the beatitude “Blessed are the peacemakers” (v. 9), the Pope said the type of peace Jesus brings is often very different from what we imagine or would like peace to be defined as.

Often, the Pope noted, the definition of “peace” for us means tranquillity, to be left alone without any disruption or problems.

Rather, Jesus calls on us to act as peacemakers, building peace through works of justice and mercy.

“The Bible speaks of a ‘sowing of peace’ because it germinates from the soil of life, from the seed of our heart; it grows in silence, day after day, through works of justice and mercy, as the luminous witnesses we are celebrating today show us.”

Jesus’ life, and those of the saints, Pope Francis continued, shows us that the “seed of peace must first die” in order to grow and bear fruit.

“Peace is not achieved by conquering or defeating someone, it is never violent, it is never armed.”

Disarming the heart

What must one do to become a peacemaker?

Pope Francis notes that although we all have the ability to say sharp words or have aggressive thoughts, the first step to becoming a peacemaker is rather to disarm the heart by opening ourselves to Jesus, standing before His Cross, and receiving from Him in Confession “forgiveness and peace.”

“This is where we begin, because being peacemakers, being saints, is not our ability, it is His gift, it is grace.”

An eternal reward for those who build peace

Pope Francis continued by asking if in our everyday lives, we desire to bring peace or if we seek to bring pain, gossip, and controversy through our daily actions.

The Pope noted that building peace is about caring for those at the margins, fighting injustice, and forgiving others.

Those who build the path towards peace will be, as Jesus says, ultimately rewarded in heaven and called “children of God.”

Although they may seem “out of place” in today’s world, the Pope noted, peacemakers in Heaven will be closest to God.

“Those who love everyone and hurt no one win: as the Psalm says, ‘there is a future for a man of peace.’”

The Pope concluded by invoking the Virgin Mary, “Queen of all saints,” to help us “be peacemakers in our daily lives.” - Vatican News


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