God will ask an account for blood spilled in today's wars, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — Humankind will have
to answer to God for the bloodshed of the innocent victims of war, and
the blood spilled by greed and arms trafficking, Pope Francis said.

While God
has given peace to the world, inside all human beings “there is still that
seed, that original sin, the spirit of Cain who out of envy, jealousy, greed
and the desire for domination,
makes war,” the pope said Feb. 16 during his early morning Mass in the
chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

in the world, blood is being spilled. Today the world is at war. So many
brothers and sisters die, even innocents, because the great, the powerful want
a bigger piece of the earth; they want a little bit more power or want to gain
a bit more through arms trafficking,” he said.

The pope
centered his homily on the day’s first reading in which God makes a covenant
with Noah and all of humanity after the flood and warns that he “will
demand an account for human life.”

covenant, along with the rainbow and the dove holding an olive branch, are signs of “what God
wanted after the flood: peace; that all men and women would be in peace,”
the pope explained.

The rainbow
and the dove are symbolic of peace not only because of their beauty, but also because
of their fragility, he
said. “The rainbow is beautiful after a storm, but when a cloud comes, it
disappears,” and doves are easy prey for predators.

The pope recalled the unfortunate incident when, after
delivering his Sunday Angelus address Jan. 26, 2014, he and two children released
two doves as a gesture of peace. A seagull and a crow swooped down and attacked
the two doves.

covenant God makes is strong, but how we receive it, how we accept it is with
weakness,” the pope said. “God makes peace with us, but it isn’t easy
to keep the peace.”

The seed of
war that creates jealousy, envy and greed in people’s hearts, the pope continued, “has
grown into a tree,” causing “bombs that fall on hospitals, on a
school and kills children.”

blood of Christ is what makes peace, not my brothers’ blood that is spilled by
me, or arms traffickers or the powers of the earth in the great wars,” he

Francis said that all men and women are called not only to protect peace, but
to “handcraft” it every day, beginning in their hearts and in their

He recalled
a childhood memory when, after hearing the sounds of sirens and alarm bells
ringing throughout his neighborhood, a neighbor tearfully exclaimed to his
mother: “The war is over.”

the Lord give us the grace of being able to say: ‘The war is over’ and weep.
‘The war is over in my heart, the war is over in my family, the war is over in
my neighborhood, the war is over in my workplace, the war is over in the world’ so that the dove, the
rainbow and the covenant will be stronger,” the pope said.

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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