“The peace of Christ is different” from “worldly” peace. It is not “inner serenity.” In fact “it is a fruit of Jesus’ death and resurrection”, the Pope said, in unwritten remarks, in today’s catechesis livestreamed from the Library of the Apostolic Palace. Francis focused on the seventh Beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, because they shall be called children of God.”
“History is an endless succession of peace treaties disproved by subsequent wars, or by the metamorphosis of those same wars in other ways or in other places”,
Francis’ analysis: “Even in our time, a ‘piecemeal war’ is being fought on various fronts and in different ways.” “We have to at least suspect – the invitation – that in the globalized context consisting chiefly of economic or financial interests, the ‘peace’ of some corresponds to the ‘war’ of others. And this is not the peace of Christ!”.
Indeed, the meaning of the word “peace” can be misunderstood or sometimes trivialized. “We must navigate between two ideas of peace,” the Pope explained: “One kind of peace can be seen in the biblical term Shalom, which signifies an abundant, flourishing life. When in Hebrew you augur shalom, you are auguring a beautiful, full, prosperous life, but also one based on truth and justice, which will be fulfilled in the Messiah, prince of peace.” A “second, widespread idea is the notion of inner serenity. This is a modern, psychological, subjective notion. It is commonly thought that peace is serenity, harmony, inner balance.” “This understanding of the term peace is incomplete and cannot be absolutized, because spiritual growth often occurs precisely when our tranquillity has somehow been disturbed”,
Francis said. “Many times it is the Lord Himself who sows within us the restlessness to go forth and find Him. In this sense it is an important moment of growth. While it may happen that inner serenity may correspond to a tamed consciousness and not to true spiritual redemption.” “Many times the Lord must be ”a sign of contradiction”, which disturbs our mistaken certainties, in order to lead us to salvation,” Francis remarked: “At that moment we feel as if we are unable to find peace, but it is the Lord Himself who places us on this path to find the peace He bestows on us.”
Who are the “peacemakers”, then? This question is answered by the seventh Beatitude, “the most proactive, those who are most explicitly operational.” “The verbal expression is akin to the one found in the first verse of the Bible for Creation. It indicates resourcefulness and industriousness”, the Pope noted: “Love is inherently creative – love is always creative – and it seeks reconciliation at all costs.”
“Those who have learned the art of peace and practice it, they know that there is no reconciliation without the gift of one’s life, and that peace must be sought always and in every case are the true children of God”,
the identikit of the peacemaker: “Always and in every case – lest it should be forgotten: this is the way!” The Pope added impromptu: “This is not an autonomous work that is the fruit of one’s own abilities, it is a manifestation of the grace received from Christ who is our peace and made us children of God.” “True shalòm and true inner balance – Francis said in the closing remarks – flow from the peace of Christ, which comes from his Cross and generates a new humanity, embodied in an infinite host of saints, inventive, creative, who devised ever new ways to love. Saints who are peacemakers. This life as children of God, who seek and find their brothers and sisters through the blood of Christ, is true bliss. Blessed are those walking this path! And once again Happy Easter to all, in the peace of Christ!”.