These past several weeks tensions have been extremely high in the Middle East. Peace groups, mainly from Turkey attempted to bypass an Israeli blockade, and deliver food and medicine to Palestinians in Gaza. Of course you all heard about the Israeli response, and the world-wide outcry. In the middle of this ongoing test of wills and clash of cultures, are people who try to go about their daily life.
For the Christian this is no easy task. In the Middle East world, Christians are most definitely seen as outsiders. They face added hardships, oppression, and discrimination. In his recent trip to Greece, Pope Benedict prayed for a resolution in the areas conflictual nature. Benedict spoke about the hardships caused by ongoing violence and urged all sides to work for a lasting solution which would bring peace and unity to the region.
At the Request of the Holy Father, the regions Bishops will begin creating a document which will focus on the faith witness, and the value of publicly pronouncing a Christian faith in the Holy Land today, and encouraging Christians to be advocates for peace.
These are our brothers and sisters in Baptism. The creed reminds us that we are One, Holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Christians in the Middle East need our prayers and support. We have a responsibility to understand and support their struggles through our prayer and faithfulness. While I do not expect my readers to engage in any kind of public protest, it can only help to contact our congress people. Lastly we remember our friends in Christ through our prayer and sacrifice.
St. Paul will remind us that when one part of the body hurts, the whole body is in pain. We ache for our broters and sisters, and maintain an awareness of their plight, as we lift them up to the Lord.