Prosperi: "Only hope can build"

The President of the Fraternity's greeting at the Mass for Peace celebrated by Cardinal Sean O'Malley that opened the New York Encounter 2023.

Good morning to you all!
On behalf of the entire movement of Communion and Liberation and the New York Encounter, I sincerely thank His Eminence Cardinal O’Malley for being so kind to celebrate this Holy Mass here with us.
I also warmly thank Archbishop Pierre and Archbishop Guzdiak, Bishop Barres, Bishop Massa, Bishop Raica and Bishop Varden for their presence.
Thank you to all the other church and civil authorities who are attending. And, of course, thanks to all of you present here.

We offer this Holy Mass for Pope Francis’ intentions for peace.
This celebration is part of the many public moments of prayer and meetings for peace that Communion and Liberation is promoting around the world.
In fact, at the audience Pope Francis granted us in St. Peter’s Square last October 15 on the occasion of the centenary of Luigi Giussani’s birth, he addressed these words to our Movement, “I invite you to accompany me in the prophecy for peace–Christ, Lord of peace! The increasingly violent and belligerent world really frightens me; I tell you truly, it frightens me.” These are words that call us to a concrete responsibility.

On a flyer in favor of peace published by Communion and Liberation in recent months, we wrote, “Nothing is more in keeping with the deep aspiration of the human heart than peace.” Therefore, considering all human miseries, “Everything – again I quote the Pope – must be done so that war is not the last word.”
It is crucial that each of us has such an awareness, but also those who most directly affect the decisions of governments and the international community: believing in the power of dialogue, after all, relies on the challenge to reason that the other is someone good for me. In this respect, the position of the Church is absolutely reasonable in seeking peace at any cost, even when no one wants it.

Our responsibility, also as a Movement, is above all to patiently build, day after day, places of education and hope, fostering relationships in which the gaze on the other is inclusive of what he or she is. This is how a common judgment capable of overcoming the pattern dictated by power or ideology is generated. It is an educational work. Following an attack in which some Italian soldiers lost their lives in Iraq in 2003, Fr. Giussani remarked, “If there were an education of the people, everyone would be better off.”

Thanks precisely to the education received in living the charism of Communion and Liberation, works have emerged that, by their presence in their fields, give back and generate opportunities to be “in action” for peace. The desire for peace therefore generates a new awareness of the individual and their community, and thus of industrious ways. In the industriousness and gratuitousness of a people that comes into play, the New York Encounter wishes to be one of these ways. Indeed, the task we feel as Christians is to witness in our daily work that only hope can build. And hope, as Fr. Giussani taught us, “is a certainty about the future based on a present reality,” which is Jesus Christ.
In the name of the love we have been given by Christ, this means being peacemakers. In the words of Monsignor Pezzi, Archbishop of the Mother of God in Moscow - in Moscow! - “The only way to live like this is to be humble peacemakers and defenders of justice.”

This humility can change the way we stand in the face of the evil of war and in the face of any evil, to the point of experiencing true mercy, to the point of wanting to love the other person as God has loved us. Fr. Giussani concluded his testimony during the meeting with the ecclesial movements in Rome in 1998 with these words, “The mystery of mercy shatters any image of complacency or despair; […] The Mystery as mercy remains the last word even on all the awful possibilities of history.”

Davide Prosperi