Peace Is Gift of Jesus, Says John Paul II

General-Audience Address Touches on Divine Mercy Sunday

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 28, 2003 ( Peace is a gift that the risen Christ offers to people, and it must be «preserved with care and made to fructify with maturity and responsibility,» says John Paul II.

During last Wednesday’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope delivered an address on Psalm 135. He emphasized that peace is identified «as a ‘novelty’ introduced in history by Christ’s Pasch» and the «fruit of the new life inaugurated by his resurrection.»

«No matter how complicated situations may be, and no matter how strong the tensions and conflicts, nothing can resist the effective renewal brought by the risen Christ,» the Holy Father said. «He is our peace.»

John Paul II also said that Easter is the perfect manifestation of God’s mercy, and reminded the faithful of the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. Since 2000, Divine Mercy Sunday has been observed on the Second Sunday of Easter.

The messenger of devotion to the Divine Mercy was Faustina Kowalska, a Polish religious who was canonized in 2000.

At the audience, the Pope said that the mercy of God, «who has compassion on his servants,» is revealed in its fullness in Jesus who «with his cross abolished enmity, making peace to create, in him, one new man.»

With his death on the cross, «Christ has reconciled us with God and has laid in the world the basis for the fraternal coexistence of all,» the Pope said.

By washing our sins with his blood, «we have experienced the renewing strength of Christ’s forgiveness,» the Holy Father added. Because of this, «divine mercy opens the heart to forgiveness of brothers, and peace is built by forgiveness offered and received.»

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