Pope asks Christians to be servants of peace
By David Kerr
\Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in Beirut with the presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.
\Pope Benedict XVI celebrates Mass in Beirut with the presentation of the Apostolic Exhortation. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano.

.- Pope Benedict XVI told an open-air Mass in the Lebanese capital of Beirut that the Christians of the Middle East must be peacemakers in the often troubled region.

“Dear brothers and sisters, I pray in particular that the Lord will grant to this region of the Middle East servants of peace and reconciliation, so that all people can live in peace and with dignity,” the Pope said to a congregation of over 350,000 gathered on Beirut’s waterfront Sept. 16.

“This is an essential testimony which Christians must render here, in cooperation with all people of good will. I appeal to all of you to be peacemakers, wherever you find yourselves.”

The Mass marked the final day of Pope Benedict’s 3-day Apostolic Visit to Lebanon. He used the occasion to present his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” to the Church in the Middle East. He said he hoped the document would be “a guide to follow the various and complex paths where Christ goes before you.” 

The Pope’s presence in Lebanon coincided with continued civil-war in neighboring Syria and increasing anti-United States protests across the region in part because of a film deemed insulting to Islam.

Speaking in French, the Pope said that in a world where violence “constantly leaves behind its grim trail of death and destruction” it was urgent for all people of good will in the Middle East “to serve justice and peace” which is necessary for “building a fraternal society, for building fellowship.”

The path to peace, he suggested, was provided in today’s Gospel where Jesus Christ reveals “that he must suffer and be put to death, and then rise again.” This is news which is “shocking and disturbing” to his disciplines. It also “contradicts the expectations of many” as they discover “a Messiah who suffers, a Messiah who serves and not some triumphant political savior.”

“Brothers and sisters, the path on which Jesus wishes to guide us is a path of hope for all,” said the Pope to the vast Beirut crowd.

“Jesus’ glory was revealed at the very time when, in his humanity, he seemed weakest, particularly through the incarnation and on the cross. This is how God shows his love; he becomes our servant and gives himself to us. Is this not an amazing mystery, one which is at times difficult to accept?”

At the conclusion of the Mass the Pope presented his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to over 300 bishops gathered from all across the Middle East.

The Pope prayed that the gospel “continue to resonate” in the region where Jesus lived and spoke.

“May it be lived today and forever!” he said.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: