Monsignor Christian Lépine (Mass for the 18th anniversary of Fr. Giussani's death)

“The world needs hearts inhabited by Christ”

Archbishop of Montreal Monsignor Christian Lépine’s homily at the mass in Mary Queen of the World Cathedral for the 18th anniversary of Fr. Giussani's death.
Msgr Lepine, Archbishop of Montreal

At the audience given to Communion and Liberation on October 15, 2022, for the 100th anniversary of Don Giussani, the Pope said, "I invite you to accompany me in the prophecy for peace, to be prophets of peace." He also said that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Peace.

On November 15, 2022, one month later, Communion and Liberation took up the Pope's call to pray for peace and to dialogue, thus underlining the importance of dialogue for peace.

There is a message from Luigi Giussani that I found on the Communion and Liberation website, a letter he sent to the Corriere della Sera in 2003 at the time of the war in Iraq, where he talks about peace. He said: "Nothing is more in keeping with the deepest aspiration of the human heart than peace, the human heart aspires to peace". And there he said something that may seem surprising, which goes to the heart of the matter and applies to the question of the bombs in Ukraine as it did for Iraq at the time. This also applies to everything that threatens peace: whether it is peace in families, peace in the church, peace in communities, peace within us, peace around us, or war. When looking at the explosion of bombs and burning cities, what reveals the truth of things is the thought of the death of Jesus. I am not able to give myself any other explanation than this: to follow Christ who will die on the cross.

What is the connection between Christ's death on the cross and peace?Who died on the cross? What did Jesus kill on the cross? What died on the cross? Did not death itself die on the cross? Did not war itself die on the cross? Was it not war that was defeated on the cross? Because war is the apex of divisions, of enmity, of hatred.

On the cross, no hatred, no violence, no suffering, no blow could prevent Jesus from loving. There are so many things that prevent us from loving, there are so many things that limit the movement of love in our hearts, in our lives: worries, misunderstandings, divisions, differences, polarisations, many things... like Saint Paul says Love is like faith, a fragile treasure. There is a failure of love in our lives, and we are exposed to the failure of love in our lives. But in His death on the cross there is no failure of love. In Jesus love is not a project to be realized, in Jesus love is always a present reality, it is a life, it is a life that nothing can stop, not even death. In Jesus love is always alive, always great, always infinite, always giving, always persevering, always hoping. As Charles Péguy said, "God believes more in us than we believe in him, God hopes more in us than we hope in him". And when Don Giussani invites us to look at Jesus who is going to die on the cross, we can see that; certainly, in a context of peace we can see it as an invitation to participate in this love that nothing can stop.
Failure, division, hatred, suffering, sin, all come to break the love we have in our hearts . If we want peace in the world, it must begin in our hearts. Peace cannot just be "let them make peace". Peace is being at peace; Peace is to welcome peace, to be open to the peace that is in Jesus Christ who is Peace.

If we do it together as a movement of Communion and Liberation, it becomes a movement of peace. If we do it together as a Church, it becomes like a peace impetus.

The world we live in does not think it needs God. It certainly does not think it needs the Church and yet ... Do we believe that the world needs God? Do we believe that the world needs Jesus Christ who is peace and the source of peace? Do we believe that the world needs us? The world needs us because it needs Jesus Christ and we are the body of Christ. The world needs the Church, the world needs Communion and Liberation, the world needs hearts inhabited by Christ, a heart where Christ is present, alive, radiant and humble. I think when we get to heaven we're going to be amazed at many things, but one of the things that will amaze us is that God is humbler than we are. One of the things that will amaze us is that Jesus Christ is infinitely humble. We have difficulty being humble, but Jesus Christ is humble. To have Jesus Christ living in us is already like a first gesture of humility: "Lord, I am in need... I have tried everything, I have tried everything to build peace, I have tried everything to be at peace in my family, in society, in the church, I have tried everything and I cannot do it; I need you Lord, I need your peace” we have this desire and you have this desire to be instruments of peace in the world. The world needs peace, society needs peace. We are in constant turmoil. Climate change brings an anxiety crisis, an unexpected storm disrupts lives... We need peace. Misunderstandings in the family, at work put us down... We need peace. We are quick on the trigger, we have a problem, we think we must attack others to solve the problem... We need peace and this peace exists: it is the peace of Jesus Christ.

All that is asked of us is to recognize that we need Jesus Christ, but also to believe that the world needs you, your peace, your heart inhabited by the peace of Christ.