Saturday morning, October 7th, the terrorist organization Hamas committed atrocities in the state of Israel killing many innocent people and kidnapping, torturing, and murdering men, women, and children, young and old alike. It is difficult to believe that human beings can be capable of such cruelty! Israel’s response was immediate, necessary, and ongoing. Then they are fighting in the north against another terrorist group, Hezbollah, bent on their destruction and the eradication of the Jews. What a terrible and horrific situation into which the world has been thrust!
I do not have the space nor the time to wade into the details of this conflict – the history, the nuances, and where our Christian brothers and sisters fall in all of it. I do not want to go into a debate on the response of the world community, the United States, and the Vatican. I do, however, want to join through fasting, abstinence, and prayer our Catholic and Christians in Israel and Gaza to pray for all the victims of war and violence in this conflict, to pray for justice and mercy and conversion to be poured out in every situation, and to pray for peace and reconciliation.
Looking at the landscape and the players involved, it is difficult to see a way to peace. This is why it rips our hearts asunder. In the end, the only hope for peace is Jesus Christ and the conversion of individual hearts to Him. Nothing is impossible for Him! This is why we pray and ask for the intercession of His Mother Mary, Queen of Peace. On Tuesday, October 17th, we prayed a Rosary and a Divine Mercy Chaplet for this intention. What a beautiful time that was gathered together in prayer. Each of us should continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). We should weep over Jerusalem like our Lord Jesus did (Luke 19:41-44).
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for them!
Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!
~ Fr. Daniel Firmin