Saturday, May 24, 2014
Strong winds helped stifle the intense midday heat in Jordan. Amman International Stadium overflowed with enthusiasm and joy at the Pope's visit. He boarded his Popemobile and greeted pilgrims for several minutes. In addition to the flags from Jordan and the Vatican, others carried those from neighboring countries like Lebanon and Iraq.
During his homily, the Pope recalled that the site of the Baptism of Jesus, where he received the Holy Spirit, was close to the stadium. He asked pilgrims to invoke It to obtain peace.
"Diversity of ideas and people should not trigger rejection or prove an obstacle, for variety always enriches. So today, with fervent hearts, we invoke the Holy Spirit and ask him to prepare the path to peace and unity.”
He also explained that peace requires humility, fraternity, forgiveness and reconciliation, all of them anointed by the Holy Spirit.
"These signs are the prerequisite of a true, stable and lasting peace. Peace is not something which can be bought; it is a gift to be sought patiently and to be 'crafted' through the actions, great and small, of our everyday lives. The way of peace is strengthened if we realize that we are all of the same stock and members of the one human family.”
In his remarks, Pope Francis sent a special greeting to the refugees from Middle Eastern countries where there is no peace. Many of these refugees took part in the Mass.
"My heart is also with the many Christian refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq: please bring my greeting to your families and communities, and assure them of my closeness.”
During the Eucharist, 1,400 boys and girls, including several refugees, received their First Communion.
Near the end, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal thanked the Pope for his visit to the Holy Land. He said that the Pope was "this century's John the Baptist,” who speaks out against injustice and violence, and in favor or the defenseless.
The Pope left the stadium on board his Popemobile, hugging and blessing a few of the thousands of pilgrims present for the liturgical celebration.