“BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD”

I hope you are having a good day, wherever you are! Some time ago, and I don’t remember where, on Facebook I saw a whole bunch of memes regarding how we are faring during these stay home weeks. One asked if people were making travel plans,. If so, where were they going: Las kitchenas, Los Lounges, Santa bedrooomes, Porta Gardenas, Costa del Balconi, Saint Bathroome, or la Rotonda de Sofa?!

One thing we know about all those rooms: they probably are the cleanest in the neighborhood! Because cleaning our house, along with home-schooling children, inventing something that will change the future of humanity or writing the next best seller, is probably how we are occupying our “spare” time. That time we have on our hands when not running one of two or three errands allowed by law (in Italy, at least): essential work, going to see a doctor or going on an ‘essential’ errand (bank, groceries or pharmacy.

I went grocery shopping this afternoon – about a 7-block walk roundtrip from my place – and you know that when you get excited to go out and buy groceries, life has really changed! Or, as I read in one email: “Coronavirus has turned us all into dogs. We roam the house all day looking for food. We’re told ‘no’ if we get too close to strangers. And we really get excited about car rides.”

I think I have been reading too many world statistics on Covid-19 – numbers are staggering even if, in many cases, they are going down instead of increasing. I needed a little humor and got it in some emails from family members and friends so am sharing a few of those.

Pope Francis is trying to pass the time as normally as possible with morning Mass, some private meetings, writing documents and today he held his weekly audience, coming to everyone around the world from the library of the Apostolic Palace, seated at safe distances from his monsignor collaborators in the Secretariat of State who read the multi-lingual summaries of the catechesis and impart the papal greetings.

We also learn that in recent days he has phoned a number of people, including Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. I posted the cardinal’s account of that phone call, and vaticannews did a story as well. I wonder if anyone has taught the Pope how to use Face Time!

Maybe I should send the Holy Father a post-Easter message and make sure my phone number is included!

“BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD”

The Pope began today’s catechesis by saying, “I am happy that this theme happens immediately after Easter because the peace of Christ is the fruit of His death and resurrection, as we heard in the reading of Saint Paul. To understand this beatitude, one must explain the meaning of the word ‘peace’, which can be misunderstood or sometimes trivialized.!

He then explained that “in our continuing catechesis on the Beatitudes, we now turn to the seventh Beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” noting that there are two kinds of peace: “One kind of peace can be seen in the biblical term Shalom, which signifies an abundant, flourishing life. A second idea is the modern notion of interior serenity.

“Yet,” said Francis in a seeming inference to the coronavirus pandemic, “this second type of peace is incomplete since spiritual growth often occurs precisely when our tranquillity has somehow been disturbed.”

In this Easter season we see Jesus bringing the gift of his own peace, a fruit of his death and resurrection. The Lord bestows his gift not as the world does – where “peace” is often purchased at the expense of others – but by destroying hostility in his own person. A peacemaker then is someone who, by God’s grace, imitates Jesus in bringing reconciliation to others by giving of themselves, always and everywhere!

“Those who do so,” concluded Pope Francis, “are true children of God and show us the way of true happiness. Once again, I wish you all a happy Easter, in the peace of Christ!”

In greetings to Polish people watching the general audience online, Francis said: “I cordially greet the Poles. Next Sunday we will celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy. St. John Paul II instituted this in response to the request made of Saint Faustina by Jesus when He said, “I wish the feast of mercy to be a shelter and refuge for all souls. Humanity will not find peace until it turns to the source of my mercy”(Diary 699). We confidently pray to the Merciful Jesus for the Church and for all humanity, especially for those who suffer in this difficult time. The Risen Christ revives hope and the spirit of faith in us. I cordially bless you.”