Pope Francis on Sunday reiterated his call for peace in the ongoing crisis in Egypt saying” “we continue to pray for peace in Egypt together, Mary Queen of Peace pray for us” The Holy Father also remembered those who were killed in a ferry disaster in the Philippines this week and prayed for the families in their grief.
The Pope was speaking following the recitation of the Angelus prayer from the Papal Apartments above St Peter’s Square.
During his Angelus address Pope Francis took his cue from Sunday’s Gospel liturgy. He explained that the phrase contained in the Letter to the Hebrews: "Let us run with perseverance the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus”, is an expression that we must emphasize especially in this Year of Faith. The Pope said that Jesus is the key to a loving relationship with God. He is the only mediator of this relationship between us and our Father in heaven.
The Holy Father then turned his attention to another phrase in Sunday’s liturgy, which he said needed to be explained so as not to lead to confusion or misunderstanding. Pope Francis was referring to the words that Jesus spoke to his disciples "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division "(Luke 12:51). “But what does this mean?” the Pope asked. He explained that “it means that faith is not something decorative, or ornamental, it is not there to decorate your life with a little 'of religion.” No, faith, said Pope Francis, involves choosing God as the center of one’s life, adding that God is not empty, he is not neutral, God is love.
Jesus, continued Pope Francis does not want to divide people from each other, on the contrary, Jesus is our peace. But he lays down the criterion: live for oneself, or live for God. So, said the Pope, “the word of the Gospel does not authorize the use of force to spread the faith. It is 'just the opposite: the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence." Faith and violence are incompatible".
At the end of his address, the Holy Father again stressed that faith is not something decorative but a force of the soul, before wishing those in St Peter’s Square a lovely Sunday and a good lunch.
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