Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City has called on Mexicans to seek out the love and peace of Christ as a response to the terrible wave of violence that has swept the country.
The cardinal explained during a Jan. 30 homily that “hatred and violence will always lead us to destruction and to digression. Love and peace are the way toward true and irreversible change, not only at the institutional level, but at a personal level and in our consciences.”
“It is unquestionable that the love and peace proclaimed by Christ have benefited people and humanity much more than the revolts of zealots, civil wars and class warfare. It is clear that what the Mexican people today are waiting for are proposals that will bring progress and not useless confrontations; inclusive and participative projects and not short-lived prominence; productive programs that create wealth and not the spreading of bitterness and despair,” Cardinal Rivera said.
“The changes and transformations that Jesus proposes do not come about through hatred and violence, but rather through love and peace. The struggles that Christ calls us to are not ‘against’ someone, but rather ‘for’ the poorest and most excluded of this world,” he continued.
“I know that some people want to turn many of the Christian condemnations of violence, corruption and deception into unproductive struggles against those they consider to be their adversaries, instead of fighting for peace, honor and truth, which can bring progress and development to Mexico and the continent,” Cardinal Rivera said.
“If the changes that take place in our world are few and slow-paced, it is because there is little love in our relationships and few builders of peace,” he said.
“The efforts by some scholars to make Jesus out to be a violent revolutionary have totally failed as they have no basis,” the cardinal underscored. “The rejection of violence by Jesus in his attitude and in his words was absolute.”
“The pacifism of Jesus can never be invoked to defend the trampling of human dignity or to justify the stifling of progress and the development of nations.”
“If any word in the gospel is key, it is ‘conversion,’ which is an invitation to change, transformation, the renewal of persons and of the community,” the cardinal added.