The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pizzaballa, has called today to be a day of fasting, abstinence, and prayer for peace in Palestine and Israel. “Let us organize prayer times with Eucharistic adoration and with the recitation of the Rosary to Our Blessed Virgin Mary,” he wrote on a published statement. The Cardinal laments that many communities under his care will be unable to gather in large numbers, but encourages them to gather as parishes, religious communities and families. The Cardinal invokes this day of prayer asking God the Father for peace, justice and reconciliation.
During these past few days, we have witnessed a horrific attack by Hamas on innocent Israeli civilians. Now, we are witnessing the severe bombing of Gaza which is one of the most crowded regions in the world. However, the killing of innocents cannot be remedied by the killing of more innocents. Yet, that is the reality we are witnessing today.
The initiative of the Cardinal instills hope to all those affected by this present war. “The pain and dismay at what is happening is great. Once again, we find ourselves in the midst of a political and military crisis. We have suddenly been catapulted into a sea of unprecedented violence. The hatred, which we have unfortunately already been experiencing for too long, will increase even more, and the ensuing spiral of violence will create more destruction. Everything seems to speak of death. Yet, in this time of sorrow and dismay, we do not want to remain helpless. We cannot let death and its sting be the only word we hear.”
Let us unite today in prayer. That hostilities may cease, and that a true path to peace and reconciliation may be found.
Pictures taken from Facebook public page of Ilquddas Ara, a Catholic page of Holy Family Church in Gaza City.