HOMILY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 14 Januray 2005
1. "Blessed are the peacemakers..." (Mt 5: 9). Christ's words enlighten and comfort us at this solemn liturgy with which we take our leave of our venerable Brother, dear Cardinal Jan Pieter Schotte.
He was a man of peace! He made the value of peace one of the qualities of
his long and busy service to the universal Church, and especially to the Holy
See. He was so profoundly convinced that Christians must witness to peace that
he chose as his episcopal motto: "Parare viam Domino pacis" (Prepare the
way for the Lord of peace). We can recognize in his motto the reference to St
John the Baptist, Patron of the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to
which he belonged. The task of the Baptist, in fact, was to "prepare the way for
the Lord" (cf. Lk 1: 76). Cardinal Schotte chose to add the explicit mention of
peace, juxtaposing it with the name "Lord" - "Parare viam Domino pacis" -
almost as if to underline that only by accepting Christ and his Gospel is it
possible to attain true peace (cf. Wis 3: 3).
May the Merciful Lord welcome him into his Kingdom of peace. May the Immaculate Virgin accompany him as he goes to receive the prize promised to good and faithful servants of the Gospel. Amen!
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