Two Sundays ago, Pope Francis asked that Catholics throughout the word pray for peace in Syria and thereby avoid an inevitable escalation of war in that country where over a hundred thousand people have died in the past few years. Pope Francis selected this last Saturday as a day of intense prayer and fasting for peace in Syria..
What can I say? It worked! I believe we have received an answer to our prayers for peace. The plan which the U.S. and Russia have worked out and that Syria has agreed to will turn over all chemical weapons for destruction. I guess it’s up to the U.S. and Russia to figure out a way to neutralize the nerve gases which already have killed over a thousand Syrians.
For the moment, the threat of a new conflict which would have drawn in Russia on the side of Syria, has been avoided. A sense of relief has come over the world.
The rebels in Syria, though are not pleased because the agreement will not bring an enduring peace to Syria. The civil war in Syria continues.
The work of peace is unending. It is the work of the Church to promote peace in our world, the peace that Jesus commended when he said: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.” (Mt 5,9)
However, for the moment a world crisis has been avoided by the grace of God. It’s time now to offer Him thanks for hearing the prayers of a sinful world.
We Christians know, however, that a peace that lasts will come only when we work toward justice for the poor throughout the world. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice…” (Mt.5, 6)