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  • Writer's pictureElpidio Pezzella

Dare to Peace through faith

Do not fret because of evildoers,

Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.

(Psalms 37:1 NKJV)

After the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the confusion of the world of believers arose everywhere. In the Protestant sphere, as elsewhere, the cry was raised loudly: “Let's say no to war, no ifs and buts”, accompanied by initiatives of fasting and prayer, followed by joint declarations, signed and shared. The solidarity machine was not expected to start in collaboration with the exponents of local churches, in an effort to bring basic necessities to an increasingly tortured and exhausted territory. A mobilization that honors those who are ready to help and rescue. It could not be otherwise. Faith shows politics that there are viable ways. In hours like these, it is necessary to cling to faith and the relationship with God. This will guide us to work for peace, to go in peace and to pray, starting from the beatitude of the mountain: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9). Faced with the dilemma of whether it is the Lord who does everything and it is enough to entrust oneself to Him and everything will be resolved or if it is useless to pray without getting busy, it is necessary to take a position. We recognize that acting from God is indispensable, because "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain" (Psalm 127:1). But one cannot remain helpless. The first action of every believer therefore remains to work concretely for peace. One sins not only by committing evil with hatred and war, but also when one remains indifferent and / or inactive. Faith teaches us first of all to flee from evil and to work for the good of all. Then we are exhorted to go in peace, that is, to keep our souls at peace, in communion with God. Finally, pray, surrender to him and let his work be done in our life and Christ be our peace. Only if we have inner peace will we be able to infect the family, society and the world, or at least spread that salt capable of giving flavor to a vain and empty existence. Here then is the meaning of the quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer (imprisoned and killed by the Nazis in 1945) placed as a title: “Dare to peace by faith”. To dare is an act of courage, and faith is for the brave capable of abounding in God and willing to renounce their convictions, even if these coincide with personal interests. I hope you can make them yours too. Together with those who preceded me, counting on your sharing, I express concern and dismay at what is happening in Ukraine and I beg the Lord so that the parties involved find a way to work on the path of diplomacy and the negotiated resolution of the conflict. The heart tightens at the thought of the sufferings that the population is suffering, of the destruction that will remain in the eyes and minds, of those who will have to leave a loved one forever. With the sky of the soul becoming more and more gloomy, the Word opens up to the effort to bring relief and animate hope. I would like the words of Psalm 37 to echo in the hearts of both Ukrainians and Russians opposed to war, animating ways of reconciliation beyond nationalisms. Not knowing how to pray and what to ask of the Eternal, I limit myself to reminding him of what is written.

Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. Psalms 37:1-10 ___ To whoever is asking me where God is

I began to seek God, while a bloodthirsty madman overwhelmed a people, without worrying about harming the weak and innocent, throwing the whole world into bewilderment. I found Him ..., lost, shocked as he looked around to understand the umpteenth human idiocy. He tried for a long time, he gave up, but he didn't turn around. He has decided to stay and do something. I saw Him with eyes full of tears accompany his wife and children as far as possible, hug them to the chest, caress their head and kiss them in the hope of finding them again in a few days. I saw Him go down into the subways to play with the children, run through the rubble of the bombings to help, put out fires. I saw Him walking among us and going to meet his children, brothers and sisters, exhausted by the flight, with a glass of milk and biscuits. Even the prisoner "Cain" did not refuse help, because he too has a family and above all he was deceived.

I saw Him drive a bus loaded with basic necessities, drive thousands of kilometers before reaching the border and distribute the load, then open the doors and take on board as many children, women and the elderly as possible before set off again to a safe place. I saw Him roll up his clothes, scramble in churches to move the benches and make room for beds. I saw Him take to the streets and shout NO to war, begging to think. I have seen Him in your faces, friends, dear brothers.


Weekly Bible Reading

Plan #11

March 07, Deuteronomy 1-3; Mark 10:32-52

March 08, Deuteronomy 4-6; Mark 11:1-18

March 09, Deuteronomy 7-9; Mark 11:19-33

March 10, Deuteronomy 10-12; Mark 12:1-27

March 11, Deuteronomy 13-15; Mark 12:28-44

March 12, Deuteronomy 16-18; Mark 13:1-20

March 13, Deuteronomy 19-21; Mark 13:21-37

Photo by kami_cze,

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