Francis closed the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress. “The cross is never in trend of fashion: today as in the past. Rather it it heals within. It is before the Crucified One that we experience a beneficial inner struggle, the bitter conflict between ‘thinking according to God’ and ‘thinking according to men’.”http://www.asianews.it/news-en/”The threat of anti-Semitism still lurks in Europe and elsewhere”.
Budapest (AsiaNews) – To follow “God’s logic”, which is not the search for personal success, but service to others, is to let Jesus “heal our closures and open us up to sharing, heal us from rigidity and withdrawal into ourselves”, is to follow the cross that “extends its arms towards all”. And it is “to commit ourselves to promoting together an education to fraternity, so that the regurgitations of hatred that want to destroy it do not prevail”.
Budapest was the first stop of Pope Francis’ 34th international visit and already indicates the message he wants to bring to a wider audience than Hungary and Slovakia, where he goes later today, and which is addressed to those countries that have suffered for over 50 years from a repressive regime of faith and religious freedom. Remember, at the Angelus, when Francis spoke of the beatification, today in Poland, of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński “arrested and segregated”.
The stop in Budapest, where Francis arrived just before 8am (local time) was motivated by and dedicated to the closing of the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress for which the Pope celebrated Mass. A stop of less than seven hours that was also an opportunity to meet (in the photo) the representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches – there is also the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew – and some Jewish communities in Hungary which, like those in Slovakia, were decimated by Nazi persecution. For Francis, this was an opportunity to evoke “the threat of anti-Semitism, which is still spreading in Europe and elsewhere. It is a fuse that must be extinguished. But the best way to defuse it is to work positively together, is to promote fraternity”.
Finally, there was political interest in the protocol meetings with the President of the Republic, János Áder, and with the Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, the leader of sovereignism, who advocates policies that are far removed from the ideas of the Pope, as well as from those of the European Community, especially in the field of reception. Seen together (in the photo), both present at the mass.
A meagre Vatican communiqué reads: “The meeting with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary took place according to plan, in a cordial atmosphere, and ended at 9.25am. Also present with the Holy Father were His Eminence Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, and His Excellency Archbishop Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. Among the various topics discussed were the role of the Church in the country, the commitment to safeguarding the environment, and the defence and promotion of the family”.
The imitation of Jesus, the “personal, life-like answer” to the question he asked the apostles “But who do you say that I am?” was the theme of the closing celebration of the Eucharistic Congress. In Heroes’ Square, dedicated to the insurgents of the 1956 uprising – bloodily repressed by the Soviets – the Pope urged us to “imitate” Christ and “not to consider ourselves religious and good and to go on our way without letting ourselves be conquered by the logic of Jesus”. Which is that of “a mission that would culminate, yes, in the glory of the resurrection, but passing through the humiliation of the cross”.
To the over one hundred thousand people present in the large square, Francis reminded them that “the cross is never trend of fashion: today as in the past. But it heals within. It is in front of the Crucifix that we experience a beneficial inner struggle, the bitter conflict between ‘thinking according to God’ and ‘thinking according to men’. On the one hand, there is God’s logic, which is that of humble love. God’s way eschews all impositions, ostentation and triumphalism; it is always directed towards the good of others, even to the point of self-sacrifice. On the other hand, there is the “thinking according to men”: it is the logic of the world, attached to honour and privilege, aimed at prestige and success. It is the world’s logic, attached to honour and privilege, focused on prestige and success.
There is,” he said, “the part of God and there is the part of the world. The crucial difference is between the true God and the god of our ego. How far removed is He who reigns in silence on the cross from the false god we would like to reign by force and silence our enemies! How different is Christ, who proposes himself only with love, from the powerful and victorious messiahs flattered by the world! Jesus shakes us up, he is not satisfied with declarations of faith, he asks us to purify our religiosity before his cross, before the Eucharist. It is good for us to be in adoration before the Eucharist to contemplate the fragility of God. Let us devote time to adoration. Let us allow Jesus, the living Bread, to heal our closures and open us up to sharing, to heal us from rigidity and withdrawal into ourselves, to free us from the paralysing slavery of defending our own image, to inspire us to follow him where he wants to lead us”.
“The Christian journey is not a chase after success, but begins with a step backwards, with a liberating decentralisation, with removing oneself from the centre of life. Then Peter recognises that the centre is not his Jesus, but the true Jesus. He will still fall, but from forgiveness to forgiveness he will recognise the face of God better and better. And he will pass from sterile admiration for Christ to concrete imitation of Christ. What does it mean to walk after Jesus? It is to go forward in life with the same confidence as his, that of being beloved children of God. It is to walk in the same way as the Master, who came to serve and not to be served (cf. Mk 10:45). It is to move our steps every day towards our brother or sister. That is where the Eucharist urges us: to feel ourselves as one Body, to break ourselves for others”.
This is what I wish for you,” he said at the Angelus. “May the cross be your bridge between the past and the future! Religious sentiment is the lifeblood of this nation, so attached to its roots. But the Cross, planted in the ground, not only invites us to take good root, but also raises and extends its arms towards all: it exhorts us to keep our roots firm, but without entrenchment; to draw from the springs, opening ourselves to the thirsty of our time. My wish is that you will be like this: grounded and open, rooted and respectful.
This is how the Budapest stage ended. In the afternoon, the arrival in Bratislava marks the beginning of the visit to the Slovakian Republic. (FP)