The voice of peace and the warmth of mercy

February 13, 2016-Reading time: 3 minutes

With the new year comes the balance of what has been lived and the opening to what is yet to come. Christmas offers the framework that allows us to read the passing of time with the inextinguishable light brought by the Savior. The teachings of Francis in the last month deal with this framework, shedding light on the past and projecting hope for the future. With them, the Pope wishes to make the voice of peace resound and to enkindle the warmth of mercy.

In keeping with the liturgical framework, the meditations of the Angelus and the Homilies of the great Christmas celebrations have left us orientations on the peace that the Father wishes to sow in the world, not only so that we may cultivate it, but also so that we may conquer it.

The shepherds and the Magi teach us that we must raise our eyes to heaven, that is, keep our hearts and minds open to God's horizon, in order to conduct ourselves with hope in this world. The Word of God proclaiming the coming of the fullness of time with the incarnation of the Son of God seems to contradict what we perceive around us. "How can this be a time of fullness, if before our eyes many men, women and children continue to flee from war, hunger and persecution, ready to risk their lives for the sake of their fundamental rights? A river of misery, fed by sin, seems to contradict the fullness of time brought about by Christ. However, this flooding river can do nothing against the ocean of mercy that inundates our world".. We plunge into this ocean by the hand of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy: "Let us allow ourselves to be accompanied by her to rediscover the beauty of the encounter with her Son Jesus.".

A balance of the last year is found in the speech addressed to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. There the Pope has affirmed that "mercy has been the 'common thread' that has guided my apostolic journeys during the past year".The President of the United States has called attention to the serious migratory emergency that we are experiencing today. "The migratory phenomenon poses an important cultural challenge that cannot be left unanswered.". Looking to the future, the main challenge that awaits us is to overcome indifference in order to build peace together. Francis spoke once again of the plight of the unemployed when he addressed the Christian Movement of Workers. He reminded them that work is a vocation to which we can respond well if we take care of education, sharing and witness.

Visiting for the first time the Synagogue of Rome, the Pope recalled the visit of his predecessors, evoked the contribution of the conciliar document Nostra Aetate and welcomed the important advances in theological and practical reflection carried out by Catholics and Jews. Today's world presents us with challenges, such as that of an integral ecology, which we should face together. To the Delegation of the Lutheran community of Finland, Francis asked to continue advancing in the dialogue in favor of a greater unity, in spite of the differences that still exist, recognizing that we are united by our commitment to give witness to Jesus Christ.

The Pope speaks of a future marked by mercy in the new series of catecheses of the Wednesday Audiences, as well as in the Jubilee meetings with migrants, rectors of sanctuaries and Vatican security personnel. He also referred to the future when he addressed parents presenting their children to be baptized, reminding them that the best inheritance they can leave them is the faith. The future, finally, we are called to build during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, asking that "let us all disciples of Christ find a way to collaborate together to bring the Father's mercy to every corner of the earth.".


The authorRamiro Pellitero

Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Professor of Ecclesiology and Pastoral Theology in the Department of Systematic Theology at the University of Navarra.

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