By Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, s.d.b.
Pope Francis has invited Israeli and Palestinian leaders to the Vatican to pray for peace in the Holy Land this Pentecost Sunday.
On his pilgrimage to the Holy Land, the Pope said, “All of us want peace.
“Many people build it day by day through small gestures and acts; many of them are suffering, yet patiently persevere in their efforts to be peacemakers.”
People of goodwill around the world are being encouraged to join Pope Francis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres and pray for peace in the Holy Land.
Pope Francis is inviting us to step outside of ourselves, of our habits, our petty hates, our prejudices and certainties – and to make space for the Holy Spirit.
First and foremost we must seek peace in our hearts and in our relationships with others. Only then can we look beyond our own horizons and truly experience the fire of the Holy Spirit.
As Caritas we are many, but we are one. We work in unity, but not in uniformity and we constantly seek harmony in the face of great challenges.
We work in countries wracked by war and injustice. We witness first-hand the fallout of conflict and disaccord and it is tempting to fall into the mentality of “What can I do? This problem is too big for me, for my organisation and the global network.”
But our mission is one of love and of encounter, one of going out into the streets and “getting our hands dirty”, in the spirit of the Church of Pope Francis.
I invite you and your communities to lay yourselves open to the Holy Spirit this Sunday. It is through the Holy Spirit that we can go out as messengers of peace.
(Some Church organisations are also organising a one minute prayer for peace on Friday at 1pm which can be found on twitter #unminutoporlapaz)