VATICAN RADIO: Christians must build bridges of dialogue, not walls of resentment. These were the words of the Holy Father at Mass on Friday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta.
Pope Francis reflected in his homily on the conflict between King Saul and David which is the focus of the day’s Old Testament reading. At one point, the Pope said, David has the chance to kill Saul, but he chooses “a different path: the path of dialogue, to make peace”.
All Christians, always, should follow the path of reconciliation, the Pope said, because that is what Jesus taught us, because Jesus showed us the way. In order to enter into dialogue, the Pope explained, it’s important to be meek, to be humble, even after an argument or a fight. It’s important to “bend”, to be flexible, so as not to reach breaking point.
However, the Pope recognised, it’s not easy to build dialogue, especially when we’re divided by resentment. It’s not written in the Bible, he said, but we all know that to be meek, to be humble, we have to swallow a lot of pride – but we must do so, because that’s how we build peace, with humility.
Humility may be hard, Pope Francis said, but allowing resentment to swell in our hearts is much worse than attempting to build a bridge of dialogue. When we allow resentment to grow, we end up isolated in the “bitter broth” of our own rancour. To be a Christian, instead, is to always be the bridge.
It’s important, Pope Francis continued, not to let too much time pass after a storm, after a problem. It’s important to build dialogue as soon as possible, because time allows the walls of resentment to grow taller, just as the weeds grow taller and get in the way of the corn – and when our walls grow tall, reconciliation becomes so difficult!
I am afraid of these walls, Pope Francis concluded, these walls that grow taller every day, building resentment and hatred. Let us follow instead the example of David, who defeated hatred with an act of humility.
Text from Vatican Radio website