Please can we pray with the greatest sorrow and compassion for those who have lost their lives seeking what most of us can take for granted: a place of safety and a place we can call home. Until we make this world a kinder, safer and more peaceful place for all, more and more people will risk everything to flee from violence in search of a haven. It’s not enough to think only of the “asylum seeker problem” – though we do need to think far more generously about that. We also need to think, act, finance and in every way support initiatives for peace that are truly sustainable and life-giving.
War is not inevitable. Violence is not inevitable. We need to insist upon that truth: that we are capable of more and better.
Our world is at a crisis point: with all our shared intelligence, spiritual resources and hope we need to find our way through the thorns of cynicism and indifference to explore new, effective, meaningful expressions of co-operation, compassion, justice and peace. We owe that to the dead. We owe that to the living. We owe it to our entire human family.
“Interfaith” is a word increasingly used. It’s used as an adjective. It’s used as a noun. We can even do interfaith in the sense of engaging with a range of activities that might include the local rabbi, imam, Buddhist monk, Hindu priest and Catholic nun sharing insights around an urgent social need, as well as people getting together without their religious labels to share sacred silence, a day of prayer, peace-making, forgiveness or healing, an experience of art, poetry or music, or a service in a church, temple or under the trees that draws on humankind’s shared spiritual inheritance and is in every way inclusive. This last word matters most. From this perspective, no one is “lesser than”; no one is “left out”.
“Healing rather than harming is our most fundamental ethical choice.” The day approaches when two Australians may be executed in Indonesia. And on this or any other day hundreds of others, perhaps thousands will die needless deaths from personal or state-sanctioned violence. with this in our minds and hearts, I would ask you please to consider what your own relationship is to the quality of mercy: how it resonates in your heart and life: how it shapes your thinking, choices and actions.