At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House Pope Francis talked about where we should seek peace: not in power or vanity but in a “Person”, the Holy Spirit
Domenico Agasso jr
God’s peace is not to be found in money, power or vanity but in a Person. And this Person is the Holy Spirit. This was Francis’ message at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, Vatican Radio reports. Those who embrace the Holy Spirit will experience a solid and lasting peace, unlike those who choose to focus on other things such as money.
The peace power offers is in constant danger of vanishing: you many be rich and important today but tomorrow it could all be gone, whereas no one can take away the joy that derives from the Holy Spirit; it is “definitive”.
The Pope’s homily this morning was inspired by the passage from John’s Gospel which describes how Jesus is about to face the Passion and before going to his disciples he says: “My peace I give you.” Francis underlined that the peace of the Son of God “differs completely from the “peace that the world gives us”, because “it is somewhat superficial” it offers a “degree of calm, even a certain joy”, but only “up to a certain point.”
“For example, it offers us the peace of wealth: ‘I am at peace because I have everything I need, everything organized for my whole life, I do not have to worry … ‘ This is a peace that the world gives. Do not worry, you won’t have any problems because you have so much money … the peace of wealth. And Jesus tells us not to trust this peace, because with great realism he tells us: ‘Look, there are thieves … thieves can steal your wealth!’ Money does not give you a definitive peace. Just think, metal also rusts! What does it mean? A stock market crash and all your money is gone! It is not a secure peace: It is a superficial temporal peace.”
Francis then focused on two other types of “worldly peace”: “Power”, which does not work either – he pointed out – because “a coup can stake it away.” And “vanity”, which the Pope defined a “peace of conjecture”, today you are greatly appreciated and tomorrow you will be insulted , “like Jesus between Palm Sunday and Good Friday.”
“Instead, the peace that Jesus gives is of a completely different substance: The peace of Jesus is a Person, the Holy Spirit! On the same day of the Resurrection, He comes to the Upper Room and His greeting is: ‘Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit’. This is the peace of Jesus: it is a Person, it is a great gift. And when the Holy Spirit is in our hearts , no one can remove His peace. No one! It is a definitive peace! So what is our task? To custody this peace. Safeguard it! It is a great peace, a peace that is not mine, is belongs to another Person who gives it to me, another Person who is in my heart and accompanies me all the days of my life. The Lord has given it to me.”
“This peace is received at Baptism and Confirmation, but above all – says Pope Francis – “we receive it like a child who receives a gift” ” without conditions, with an open heart”. We must custody the Holy Spirit without “imprisoning Him”, asking for help from this “great gift” of God. “If you have this peace of the Spirit, if you have the Holy Spirit within you, and you are aware of this, let not your heart be troubled. Be sure!”
Finally, Francis reminded faithful: “Paul told us that we must first pass through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But we all, all of us, we have so many, everyone! Some bigger, some smaller … ‘ But let not your heart be troubled’, and this is the peace of Jesus. The presence of the Spirit that makes our heart be at peace. Not anesthetized, no! At peace! Aware, but at peace with the peace that only God’s presence gives.”