Those who welcome the Holy Spirit will have a solid and endless peace, unlike those who choose to “superficially” trust in the tranquility offered by money or power. This was Pope Francis’ message at Mass Tuesday morning in Casa Santa Marta.
The peace offered by things – money , power , vanity – and peace in Person, the Holy Spirit. The first is always in danger of vanishing – Today you are rich and you are somebody, not tomorrow – instead no-one “can take away” the second because it is a “definitive” peace. The Pope’s homily, which centered on one of the greatest desires of mankind of all times, was inspired by a passage from the Gospel of John, in the liturgy of the day. Jesus is about to face the Passion and before he takes leave of the disciples, he announces, “My peace I give you”. A peace , says the Pope, which differs completely from the “peace that the world gives us”, because “it is somewhat superficial” it offers a “degree of calm, even a certain joy”, but only “up to a certain point”:
“For example, it offers us the peace of wealth: ‘I am at peace because I have everything I need, everything organized for my whole life , I do not have to worry … ‘. This is a peace that the world gives. Do not worry, you won’t have any problems because you have so much money … the peace of wealth. And Jesus tells us not to trust this peace, because with great realism he tells us: ‘Look, there are thieves … thieves can steal your wealth!’. Money does not give you a definitive peace. Just think, metal also rusts! What does it mean? A stock market crash and all your money is gone! It is not a secure peace: It is a superficial temporal peace”.
Pope Francis also examined two other types of worldly peace . The first, the peace of “power” does not work either – he pointed out – because “a coup can stake it away”. Think , he added, what happened to the “peace of Herod” when the Magi “told him that the King of Israel was born: that peace vanished immediately”. Or the peace of “vanity”, which Pope Francis termed an “peace of conjecture”, today you are greatly appreciated and tomorrow you will be insulted , “like Jesus between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Instead, the peace that Jesus gives is of a completely different substance:
“The peace of Jesus is a Person, the Holy Spirit! On the same day of the Resurrection, He comes to the Upper Room and His greeting is: ‘Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit’. This is the peace of Jesus: it is a Person, it is a great gift . And when the Holy Spirit is in our hearts , no one can remove His peace. No one! It is a definitive peace! So what is our task? To custody this peace. Safeguard it! It is a great peace, a peace that is not mine, is belongs to another Person who gives it to me, another Person who is in my heart and accompanies me all the days of my life. The Lord has given it to me”.
This peace is received at Baptism and Confirmation, but above all – says Pope Francis – “we receive it like a child who receives a gift” ” without conditions , with an open heart”. We must custody the Holy Spirit without “imprisoning Him”, asking for help from this “great gift ” of God :
“If you have this peace of the Spirit, if you have the Holy Spirit within you, and you are aware of this, let not your heart be troubled. Be sure! Paul told us that we must first pass through many tribulations to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. But we all, all of us, we have so many, everyone! Some bigger, some smaller … ‘ But let not your heart be troubled’ , and this is the peace of Jesus. The presence of the Spirit that makes our heart be at peace. Not anesthetized, no! At peace! Aware, but at peace with the peace that only God’s presence gives”.