NO! TO THE WAR AMONG OURSELVES
The Jews spoke proudly about the Law of Moses. According to tradition, God Self had given it to God’s people. It was the best they had received from God. In that Law was contained the will of the one true God. There they could find all that they needed to be faithful to God.
For Jesus also the Law is important, but now it’s not in the center. Jesus lives and communicates another experience: God’s Reign is coming, the Father is looking to open a path among us for the building of a more human world. It’s not enough for us to just keep Moses’ Law. It’s necessary to open ourselves to the Father and to collaborate with God in building a more just and fraternal life.
That’s why, according to Jesus, it’s not enough to fulfill the law that orders: «Don’t kill». It’s also necessary to root out of our lives aggression, looking down on others, insults or revenge. Whoever doesn’t kill fulfills the law, but if we don’t free ourselves from violence, then that God who seeks to build a more human world with us still doesn’t reign in our hearts.
According to some observers, there’s a growing tendency in our current society to speak in ways that express aggression. More and more we see offensive insults cast about just to humiliate, look down on, wound. Words born of rejection, resentment, hate or revenge.
Even more, our conversations are often woven from unjust words that spread condemnation and sow suspicion. Words spoken without love or respect, that poison our living together and cause damage. Words born almost always of irritation, meanness or baseness.
This isn’t just something that one finds in our social living together. It’s also a serious problem in today’s Church. Pope Francis suffers when he sees divisions, conflicts and confrontations of «Christians at war against other Christians». This is a situation so contrary to the Gospel that he has felt it necessary to send us an urgent message: «No! to the war among ourselves».
Thus speaks the Pope: «It always pains me greatly to discover how some Christian communities, and even consecrated persons, can tolerate different forms of enmity, division, calumny, defamation, vendetta, jealousy, and the desire to impose certain ideas at all costs, even to persecutions which appear as veritable witch hunts. Whom are we going to evangelize if this is the way we act?». The Pope wants to work for a Church in which «everyone can admire how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another».
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf