VATICAN CITY — In one of the most impassioned homilies of his pontificate, Pope Francis has said that “God is weeping” as a “Third World War” is being waged around the globe.
The pope’s homily, delivered on Thursday morning at Holy Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta, was based on the Gospel account of Jesus’ weeping over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41–44).
A world festively bedecked
In his Gospel St. Luke reports that, “when Jesus drew near” to Jerusalem, “he saw the city and wept over it, saying: ‘Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’”
Commenting on these lines, Pope Francis said: “Jesus also weeps today, because we have preferred the path of war, the path of hatred, the path of enmity. Christmas is approaching: there will be lights, there will be celebrations, lighted trees and manger scenes … all bedecked: as the world continues to wage war. The world has not understood the things that make for peace.”
War to line the pockets of arms dealers
Pope Francis then recalled the recent commemorations of the Second World War, the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, his visit to the military memorial of Redipuglia last year on the anniversary of the Great War.
“Useless massacres,” he called them, repeating the words of Pope Benedict. “Everywhere there is war today, there is hatred.” He then posed this question: “What remains after a war, what’s left after what we’re experiencing now?”
The pope responded: “What remains? Ruins, thousands of children without a wholesome upbringing, so many innocent dead—so many—and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers. Jesus once said: ‘You cannot serve two masters: it’s either God or money.’ War is the choice for money: ‘We’ll make weapons, then the economy will balance out a bit, and we’ll go forward serving our own interests.’ The Lord has a strong word for this: ‘Cursed!’ For he said: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ Those who make war, who wage wars, are cursed, they are criminals. A war can be ‘justified’ for many reasons. But when the whole world is at war, the whole world! It’s a world war—one piece at a time: here, there, there, everywhere … there’s no justification for this. And God is weeping. Jesus is weeping.”
May the world mourn its sins
Pope Francis continued: “And while the arms traffickers do their work, there are poor peacemakers who give their lives, only for the sake of helping one person, or another or another.”
This is what “the icon of our times, Mother Teresa of Calcutta” did, he said.
“One might say with the cynicism of the powerful: ‘But what did that woman really do? She lost her life helping the dying?’ They do not know what makes for peace.”
Pope Francis concluded his morning homily, saying: “We would do well to ask for the grace of tears, to weep over this world that does not recognize the path of peace and that lives to wage war while cynically saying they aren’t.”
He added: “Let us ask for conversion of heart. As we stand before the door of this Jubilee of Mercy, let us ask that our jubilation and our joy may be the grace of the world once again being able to mourn its crimes, to weep over what it is doing through war.”
Diane Montagnais Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.