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Prayer for Peace 28.8.07
Michel Sabbah, Patriarch 

The first reading from the Prophet Isaia (11: 1-9) reminds us the mystery of God in this land.The Prophet says:
“A shoot of the stock of Jesse, a branch out of his roots shall bear fruits….The Spirit of God shall rest on Him”.
These verses tell us clearly that the Saviour will not be only a man, neither a political leader or action. The Saviour of this land will be someone on whom “the Spirit of God shall rest”.

Dealing with all kind of difficulties, with the conflict, the Occupation, the need of security, we do not deal only with men, but with the mystery of God. And through every event, difficult or easy, just or unjust, we are called to try to see His loving Providence.
All the inhabitants of this land Jews, Christians, Moslems and Druzes, have to deal with the mystery of God in it.

In the political leaders planning or action, God seems to be absent, the more so, in the actions of “religious” extremists who try to justify or to sustain the political leaders action by the word of God.

Dealing with God means to deal with all that God has taught men in His Holy Scripture: he promised the land to the Jewish people to be a land of salvation and Redemption for all humankind; it does not seem that this is the case in the vision or attitudes of religious extremism, whether Jewish or Moslems or Christians. God has promised the land; He also gave clear commandments: love each other and do not kill, do not expropriate others from their homes…

God has promised the land: doing so He has invited and still invites to a deep conversion of the mind and the heart, so that every believer becomes a messenger to God in this land, messenger of His love and justice.
In this same reading of this evening, it is said about the One sent by God that, “With righteousness shall he judge the poor and decide with equity for the humble of the earth”.
On the basis of justice we are promised a land of peace, expressed in the following images: ”The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid…. The sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp”.
Speaking about men, the Prophet says:
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God”.

In order to reach peace, we need of course peace conferences and peace talks. So many political leaders and NGO’s all over the world are acting and calling for the peace of Jerusalem, but what is basically needed is a “true knowledge of God” as says the Prophet.

In all religions in the land, there are true believers, Jews, Christians, Moslems and Druzes, who worship in spirit and truth. They pray in silence, and are full of love for the other who is different.

But there are also believers who see their life possible only with the exclusion of the other. And there are believers who see that they are sent by God to kill the other.

And the Prophet says to all:
“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of God”.

Brothers and Sisters
Let us pray for those who pray and love, for those who think that they must kill in order to live or to implement the promises of God. Let us pray, may God give us light, strength and love, and the power of seeing the other, every other, Palestinian and Israeli, Jew, Christian, Moslem and Druze, each one with its differences and rights.

Waiting for the time of God in this land, we keep hoping, sharing in all the sacrifices required until the will of God will be accomplished. Peace will be the fruit of our patience, of our sacrifices, and of our love for those who do not love us.

+ Michel Sabbah, Patriarch 


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