In a telegram, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said on behalf of Pope Francis: "His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two Mosques in Christchurch, and he assures all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks.
Pope Francis has called for people to pray for Christians persecuted "because they speak the truth and proclaim Jesus Christ to this society". The Pope begins the 60-second recording released on Wednesday 6 March by telling listeners that there are more martyrs today than in the first centuries.
The episode of the “transfiguration” is placed by Luke, eight days after that, Jesus dramatically announced his passion, death, and resurrection, eight days after that, he proclaimed the conditions for one who wishes to follow him: “renounce yourself and take up your cross every day” (Lk 9:22-27).
Earthly defeat, for us, can still be victory, just as earthily victory can be a sad defeat. Indeed, in a Christian perspective, without even considering the next life, sometimes our defeats and humiliations are what allows depth and richer life to flow into us and sometimes our victories rob us of the very things that bring us community, intimacy, and happiness.