Mercy,
A Chance
for Life

 

Reconciliation Beyond Church Community

Day 12: Thursday, week 2

 

Interreligious Dialogue

Reconciliation beyond borders is a great concern. Ethnicity and religion can divide us. Similarly, political, economic and social inequities continue to separate people into factions, keeping them apart, and resulting in psychological and material walls that keep some people in and others out. People forced to extreme positions on either end and in the middle of these divisive religious differences are a major cause of violence in the world today. Such conflicts lead to endless wars with unimaginable violence and genocide. This year alone we have witnessed violence done in God’s name by extremists’ abuse of religion.

An attitude of openness in truth and in love must characterize the dialogue with followers of non-Christian religions, in spite of various obstacles and difficulties, especially forms of fundamentalism on both sides. Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and so it is the duty for Christians as well as other religious communities. (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, # 250)

Pope Francis reminds us that there is also an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes. They too believe that no one can place a limit on divine mercy because its doors are always open. … He trusts that this Jubilee Year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of close-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination. (Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus. Bull of Indiction, # 23)

 

Reflection

Take time to listen to God’s voice within you…to share your concerns.

 

Prayer

Ecumenical prayer for Peace, Hermann Schalück, ofm

God, Muslims, Christians, members of the People of Israel ardently seek peace.
All are in mourning for the victims of hatred and violence.
All are called to collaborate in the construction of a new world.

We, therefore, beseech you:
Have mercy on all the victims and on all the offenders.
Put an end to the spiral of violence and hatred.
Let all of us, especially those who bear responsibility,
be ever more convinced that the way to peace
is not that of war and violence,
but of building peace through non-violence and justice.
Let your peace flow like a river through all our deserts.

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