Pope Francis has used his homily at Mass this morning to call for peace in the Middle East.
The Pontiff ‘s plea came as he focused his homily on the first reading of the day, from the Book of Genesis, which tells of the discussion between Abram and his cousin Lot about the division of the earth.
“When I read this,” he said, “I think of the Middle East and so I ask the Lord intensely that He give wisdom to all of us, the wisdom to say let’s not fight, you and I, I from here and you from there, the wisdom for peace.”
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis, who was speaking during the service at the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, said: “Abram departed his land carrying a promise: his entire journey is a going toward this promise. The way he walked his path is a model for how we ought to walk our own.
“God called Abram, a single person, and that one person makes an entire people. If we go to the Book of Genesis, to the beginning, to the creation, we find that God creates the stars, creates the plants, creates the animals, creates the these and the that’s and the others.
“But He creates Man in the singular, one. And God speaks in the singular. He spoke to Abram and gave him a promise and invited him to come out of his land. We Christians have been called one-by-one: none of us is Christian by pure chance. No one.”
There is a call, “by name, and with a promise,” the Pope added, “Go ahead, I am with you! I walk beside you.” This, he said, Jesus knew as well: “Even in the most difficult moments He turns to the Father.”
The Mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and by the emeritus vicar-general of the Rome diocese, Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
The service was attended by staff from Cor Unum, the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Vatican Observatory.