This Sunday, June 8, Pope Francis will meet with President Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas to spend time in prayer for peace in the Holy Land. The meeting will take place at the Vatican. During Pope Francis’ recent visit to the Holy Land, he extended the invitation to President Peres and Mr. Abbas to come to the Vatican to pray for peace. Both leaders accepted his invitation.
As we know, peace between Israel and Palestine has been an illusive pursuit for quite some time. Such a history creates doubts in the minds of many about the realistic possibility of the two nations every finding a path to peaceful co-existence. But, who would ever have thought 70 or 80 years ago that Europe would ever again know peace? Who would have guessed 40 years ago that the US would have a constructive relationship with Vietnam?
Fortunately, our Holy Father sees beyond the present, and has the courage, faith and hope necessary to envision the peace proclaimed by the angels at the birth of Jesus (Matthew 18:19) could prevail in the Land of Jesus in our time. Now that these three leaders are coming together for some time of prayer for peace, Pope Francis is inviting all the bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful to join in prayer this Sunday for peace in the Holy Land.
Let us be generous in the time we dedicate to this special intention. Let us be rich in faith as we pray for this necessary peace between Israel and Palestine, and indeed, throughout the Holy Land.