Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Francis in the Holy Land-Bringing Hope Through Words, Gestures, Prayers and an Invitation

When I watched the video of Pope Francis in the Holy Land leaving his vehicle to pray at the concrete wall that separates Bethlehem from Jerusalem, I was deeply moved.  That gesture took courage, boldness and deep faith. It's a powerful image seeing the Pope praying against that graffiti-filled wall that divides and inflames feelings. It's an historic image.
As if that wasn't enough of an amazing gesture, the Pope invited to a prayer summit, at the Vatican, both the Israeli President Shimon Peres and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Both accepted the invitation which will take place in June.  Who knows what miracle can come of this? Perhaps what man has been unable to do, in bringing peace to this troubled land, God can accomplish, through joint prayer.  It's a start, a beginning that is desperately needed.  With prayer and openness to the will of God,  perhaps a process to bring a peaceful, negotiated, just settlement  to that region of the world will begin again.
I hope and I imagine it will happen that the Pope will ask people all over the world to pray at the time of the prayer summit. Prayers from the people of the world's three major world religions, all praying at once for peace, that would be a miracle in itself.
This is a Pope full of surprises who is not afraid to be himself, to stand up for what he believes is right and he just keeps winning more and more respect.
What a gift during the Easter Season!

...The Upper Room reminds us of friendship. 'No longer do I call you servants, (Jesus said to the Twelve), but I have called you friends' (John 15:15). The Lord makes us His friends, he reveals God's will to us and he gives us his very self........(Pope Francis-Upper Room-Jerusalem-5/26)