I am tempted – and perhaps all of us in the U.S. are tempted – to allow headlines regarding tragedy in the Middle East to “go in one ear…and out the other”.
There is just so much tragedy.
Oftentimes, we feel overwhelmed by life’s events — whether in distant lands, or in our own homes and offices. In those times, I’m reminded of Mother Teresa’s words: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” That goes for everything — clothe just one person, hug just one person — and pray, too. If you can’t possibly pray for all the suffering people in the world, pray for just one.
In fact, it was only after my pilgrimage to the Holy Land, that I realized the Christians there are not just statistics. They are Johnny the tour guide with a sharp wit, Hanan the gracious relief worker, Rabab the singing English teacher.
Today I received an email from Brother Stephen, who works at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. He was passing along the news that one of the university’s graduates, Hashem, a husband and father of two little girls and a boy, was killed while peacefully protesting the violence in that region.
There are many stories like Hashem’s — of one person who is in need of prayer. What if we all joined together and prayed for just one person?
or for Ayham, his 11 year old who is now ‘man of the house’…
or for Sharna, the 23 year old pregnant mother killed in Gaza…
or for her baby girl, who was delivered by emergency C-section…
As Mother Teresa said, “Do not wait for leaders. Do it… person to person.” So we will. Please join in a special prayer service this week:
Live Radio Broadcast: Prayer for Our Brothers and Sisters in the Middle East
on Catholicism Live! hosted by Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM (Central Standard Time)
We invite you to have a crucifix or image of Christ with you, as you listen and participate. Together, let’s follow the example of our shepherd Pope Francis, and these holy bishops:
“Let us pray much for peace in the Middle East: please pray!” – Pope Francis
“We cannot be Christian but to be for the other.”
– Bishop Barnaba Yousif Habash, Syriac Diocese of Our Lady of Deliverance
“I believe in the effect of prayer even though in the immediate moment we don’t feel any result. We have to continue tirelessly to pray for peace.” – Bishop William Shomali, Auxiliary to the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
“The whole church of the Middle East is a church of Calvary. Do not leave us alone.”
– Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal
“Pray for us.” – Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako (Iraq)