Lord make me an instrument of your Peace.

During the week, we all listen to and watch the news. People often lament the amount of ‘bad’ news that is broadcast and wish that there could be other stories shared of all the efforts, achievements and generosity which abound in the world. News impacts us. We can’t turn away from the stories of Covid 19 in India, we know and love so many people from India who are part of our community. We can’t shut out the scenes of violence in Israel and Palestine, the clashes, street fighting, the rockets in the night sky, the precision bombs felling huge buildings and targeting individual cars. These are places with biblical names and remind us of the gospel stories we hear every weekend. Even the grainy footage of violence in Northern Ireland 50 years ago as the 10 dead in Ballymurphy are vindicated, Fr Hugh Mullan among them, a priest with a similar name to my own, shot as he crawled into gunfire to anoint a fallen parishioner, more like a scene from the trenches of the first world war than an insight into the unbearable loss of life on this island. All of these news stories evoke the desire to find political solutions to conflict and the fair sharing of resources from people of faith. With the Easter message deeply lodged in heart and mind, Christians are called to be peacemakers, active in building up the kingdom of God. We want and work for a just world. Trocaire brings our Lenten alms into many of these places of conflict in order to promote the work of justice. Individual faith communities attend Sunday Mass and pray, seeking God’s help in the words of St Francis “Lord make me an instrument of your Peace.” The news may be bad but the Spirit of God assures us that love will triumph over evil, Jesus has ascended to the Father and that God will never abandon us.