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Pope’s Morning Mass: Jesus Weeps Today Too, Because We’ve Chosen the Way of War

At Casa Santa Marta, Says There Can Be No Justification for This Piecemeal War

Just as Jesus wept over Jerusalem, today too he is weeping over the world, because we have chosen the way of war, and have not understood peace.

This was the message Pope Francis gave this morning during his Mass at Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.

Drawing from the Gospel reading, which recounts how Jesus wept at seeing Jerusalem, the Pope said: “Today Jesus weeps as well: because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities.”

“We are close to Christmas: There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war,” the Holy Father reflected. “The world has not understood the way of peace.”

Pope Francis went on to recall the recent commemorations of the Second World War and the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as his visit to Redipuglia last year on the anniversary of the Great War.

These conflicts were “useless slaughters,” the Pontiff said, repeating the words of Pope Benedict XV. “Everywhere there is war today, there is hatred.”

“What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now?” Francis asked. “What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims: and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers.”

The Holy Father reiterated something he has said on other occasions: that war is waged to bring economic gain to a few.

“Jesus once said: ‘You can not serve two masters:  either God or riches.’ War is the right choice for him who would serve wealth: ‘Let us build weapons, so that the economy will right itself somewhat, and let us go forward in pursuit of our interests.’”

But those who choose money over human life face Jesus’ judgement, Francis warned. “There is an ugly word the Lord spoke: ‘Cursed!’ Because He said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!.’ The men who work war, who make war, are cursed, they are criminals.”

Just war?

The Pope also remarked: “A war can be justified – so to speak – with many, many reasons, but when all the world is as it is today, at war – piecemeal though that war may be – a little here, a little there, and everywhere – there is no justification – and God weeps. Jesus weeps.”

The Holy Father went on to say that, while the arms dealers go about their business, there are poor peacemakers who, in order to help others, spend themselves utterly, and even give their lives – as did Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.The cynical or worldly might ask, “But what did she ever accomplish? She wasted her life helping others on their way to death?” the Pope said, adding, “We do not understand the way of peace.” 

“It will do us well to ask the for the grace of tears, for this world that does not recognize the path of peace, this world that lives for war, and cynically says not to make it. Let us pray for conversion of heart. Here before the door of this Jubilee of Mercy, let us ask that our joy, our jubilation, be this grace: that the world discover the ability to weep for its crimes, for what the world does with war.”

[For a summary of some of the many occasions when Pope Francis has spoken of the world at war, and referred to it as a World War III, see here: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-francis-a-pope-who-sees-a-wwiii-and-pleas-for-it-to-stop]

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

 

Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 500

Reading 1

1 MC 2:15-29

The officers of the king in charge of enforcing the apostasy

came to the city of Modein to organize the sacrifices.

Many of Israel joined them,

but Mattathias and his sons gathered in a group apart.

Then the officers of the king addressed Mattathias:

“You are a leader, an honorable and great man in this city,

supported by sons and kin.

Come now, be the first to obey the king’s command,

as all the Gentiles and the men of Judah

and those who are left in Jerusalem have done.

Then you and your sons shall be numbered among the King’s Friends,

and shall be enriched with silver and gold and many gifts.”

But Mattathias answered in a loud voice:

“Although all the Gentiles in the king’s realm obey him,

so that each forsakes the religion of his fathers

and consents to the king’s orders,

yet I and my sons and my kin 

will keep to the covenant of our fathers.

God forbid that we should forsake the law and the commandments.

We will not obey the words of the king

nor depart from our religion in the slightest degree.”

 

As he finished saying these words,

a certain Jew came forward in the sight of all

to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein

according to the king’s order.

When Mattathias saw him, he was filled with zeal;

his heart was moved and his just fury was aroused;

he sprang forward and killed him upon the altar.

At the same time, he also killed the messenger of the king

who was forcing them to sacrifice,

and he tore down the altar.

Thus he showed his zeal for the law,

just as Phinehas did with Zimri, son of Salu.

 

Then Mattathias went through the city shouting,

“Let everyone who is zealous for the law

and who stands by the covenant follow after me!”

Thereupon he fled to the mountains with his sons,

leaving behind in the city all their possessions.

Many who sought to live according to righteousness and religious custom

went out into the desert to settle there.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 50:1B-2, 5-6, 14-15

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,

from the rising of the sun to its setting.

From Zion, perfect in beauty,

God shines forth.

R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

“Gather my faithful ones before me,

those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”

And the heavens proclaim his justice;

for God himself is the judge.

R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

“Offer to God praise as your sacrifice

and fulfill your vows to the Most High;

Then call upon me in time of distress;

I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.”

R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia

PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

If today you hear his voice,

harden not your hearts.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

LK 19:41-44

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem,

he saw the city and wept over it, saying,

“If this day you only knew what makes for peace–

but now it is hidden from your eyes.

For the days are coming upon you

when your enemies will raise a palisade against you;

they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.

They will smash you to the ground and your children within you,

and they will not leave one stone upon another within you

because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

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