Building Bridges Instead of Walls

Pontiff Reflects on the Fruits of Meekness and Humility During Morning Mass

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Meekness and humility are crucial to fostering dialogue. This was the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily this morning. Through these virtues, the Pope said, one follows the example left by Christ who humbled himself until the end.

The first reading today recalled King Saul’s persecution of David. Although David had an opportunity to kill David, he chose the path that leads to dialogue and makes peace.

“Meekness is necessary in order to dialogue, without shouting,” the Pope said. “It is also necessary to think of the other person has something more than me, and David thought of this: ‘He is the anointed one of the Lord, and is more important than me.’ Humility, meekness. In order to dialogue, it is necessary to do that which we ask for today in prayer, at the beginning of Mass: to do everything for everyone.”

Even though dialogue is difficult, the Holy Father said that it is worse to “create a bridge” with an adversary while holding a growing anger in one’s heart. A Christian, however, has the example of David and Jesus who through an act of humility, conquers hate.

“Jesus has done it: he humbled himself until the end, he has shown us the way,” the Pope said. “And it is necessary that too much time doesn’t pass. When there is a problem, as soon as possible, in the moment in which it can be done, after the storm has passed, come together to dialogue, because time makes the wall grow, the weeds grow and impede the growth of the grain. And when the walls grow, reconciliation is very difficult. It is very difficult!”

Echoing sentiments he expressed several times, the 77 year old Pontiff said that there is no problem if “a few plates fly”, whether in the family or in a community. The important thing is to look for peace as soon as possible. The Holy Father also emphasized that it is better to build a bridge rather than a wall, like the Berlin Wall that divided Germany for so many years. “Even in our hearts, it is possible to become like Berlin and build up a wall against others.”

“I am afraid of these walls, the walls that grow everyday and encourage resentments and hate,” the Pope said.

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to follow the example of David who chose the path of dialogue with humility, meekness, and sweetness.

“Today”, he said, “we can ask Saint Francis de Sales, doctor of sweetness, that he give all of us the grace to build bridges with the other. No more walls.” (J.A.E.)

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