Let There Be Peace!
The shot above comes from Damascus, where the Melkite Catholic Patriarchate held a liturgy amid high emotions at Ground Zero of the storm, especially for Syria's Christian minority. (On a related note, while the Melkites are the embattled country's dominant Catholic group, another significant Syrian body in communion with Rome – the Beirut-based Syriac Catholic Church – is headed by the Syrian-born Patriarch Ignace Joseph Younan, who served as founding bishop of their North Jersey-based US eparchy from 1996 until his 2009 election as chief pastor of the 160,000-member fold.)
Still, even if today's observance took its prime focus elsewhere, may we not forget that peace can only ever begin at home – in our families and communities... and, indeed – as a good few of our own apparently need reminding about these days – within the walls of this very Church: this Body of Christ called to be leaven (not leaden) in the world.
That work is far bigger than anything one day can accomplish, and it never resolves itself in one fell swoop, so even if today's effort now enters the books, may we all keep working at it wherever we find ourselves.
Ergo, in the language affiliated the world over with these pages' home, tonight, let the old prayer be ours again, and may its realization begin with each of us....
...and lastly, to those who've kept this day as he's so "ardently" wished, a closing word of thanks from the Pope:
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,PHOTOS: Reuters(1); @AwakeDeborah(2)
I thank you for this Vigil of Prayer which we've all prayed together. Thank you so much for being part of it! Let us continue to pray for peace through all these days to come.
Goodnight and rest well – and a Happy Sunday tomorrow!