Pope offers Mass for nurses on International Day: They have been an example of heroism
Today is International Nurses Day. Yesterday I sent a message. Today let us pray for nurses, men and women in this profession that is more than a profession. It is a vocation, a dedication. May the Lord bless them. In this time of pandemic, they have been an example of heroism, and some have given their lives. Let us pray for nurses.
This was Pope Francis’ intention at morning Mass on May 12.
His homily focused on true peace, the peace that Jesus gives. It’s not the absence of war that we all desire, the pope said, but “peace in the heart, peace in our souls.”
In the Gospel, Jesus says that the peace He will give is not a worldly peace: “Not as the world gives do I give it to you.”
The peace of this world, said Pope Francis, is a peace given by things that are superficially pleasing to me. That peace is a kind of “personal possession, something that is mine, and that separates you from others. … Without realizing it, you close yourself in this peace.”
This peace, Francis said, is for you yourself, and yes, it makes you calm and happy but, it can lull us into a sleepy tranquility, where we end up closed in on ourselves. “It’s a bit selfish,” the pope said.
It’s also a “costly” peace, because those who seek it must always change what gives them that peace. “It is costly because it is temporary and sterile.”
Peace that moves you to act
The peace that Jesus gives is very different, the pope said. “It’s a peace that makes you move. It doesn’t isolate you. It gets you moving, making you go out toward others. It creates community. It creates communication. The peace of the world is expensive; the peace of Jesus is free. The peace of the Lord is a gift of the Lord. It is fruitful and always makes you go forward.”
The peace of the world is expensive; the peace of Jesus is free.
Francis said he thinks of the example from Scripture, of the man with his granaries full, who decides to build more. The Lord tells him that that very night he will die. His peace, the pope said, doesn’t “open the door to something more.” On the other hand, the Lord’s peace is “open to Heaven, open to Paradise” and open to our neighbors.
The Holy Father suggested we ask ourselves what kind of peace we have: “Do I have to pay for peace or do I receive it freely from the Lord? … When I lack something, do I get angry? This is not the Lord’s peace. … Even in bad and difficult times, does peace remain in me? This is from Lord. And the peace of the Lord is fruitful also for me because it is full of hope, that is, it looks toward heaven.”
Pope Francis explained that the peace Jesus gives is “peace for the present and for the future.”
It is beginning to live heaven already, with the fruitfulness of heaven. It doesn’t anesthetize you. The other one does. It anesthetizes you with the things of the world, and when the dose of anesthesia wears off, you take another and another and other. [But the peace of Jesus] is definitive, fruitful, and also contagious.
The Holy Father prayed in conclusion, “May the Lord grant us this peace that is full of hope, that makes us fruitful, that makes us communicative with others, that creates community, and that looks to the definitive peace of paradise.”