A few words from Fr. Joe ………………….

I went to bed last night with a prayer on my lips for the 14 people who died on Bloody Sunday and for their relatives and friends who are still living painfully with their loss.

I woke this morning to the news of over 49 people dead at a Mosque in Christchurch and my first prayer is for them and their families.

What we have learnt from Derry tells us that the relatives of those slain in Christchurch, as they prayed, men, women and children, will carry the pain and suffering for many decades to come. Hatred and violence are expressed in appalling acts of terror all over the world and no one knows when the next terrible deed will come.

We might ask if there is anything our leaders can do, any way that nations can avoid this evil and the answer has to be yes?

Building up peace and mutual respect begins with each and every one of us.

Our attitudes, language, behaviours feed into the collective identity of families, communities, nations and the world we live in.

How we come to understand peace and God’s plan for peace for all peoples and every nation, how we shape our words and actions to carry out God’s plan really does matter.

While we ourselves might never feel hatred so strong as to lead us to murder, we might use words carelessly and contribute to hurt, discrimination and alienation of others.

So, on our Lenten journey, as we seek conversion of heart and to grow in love, let us ask God to open our eyes to all that contributes to hate, and to give us the strength in our hearts to love tenderly, act justly and walk humbly with all our brothers and sisters.




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