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Easter a time of hope

Opinion

The exciting news of the proposed meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is an opportunity for us to accompany the preparation for that meeting with our prayers.

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Nobody would have believed this could happen and yet it has – and I see that as being a moment of providence that God has made it possible for something good to take place.

So this Holy Week needs to be a time where we all gather together to celebrate the feast of Easter and to pray to the Lord for the gift of peace in our world.

We pray that those in positions of leadership will deal with the issues in a clear way and remove whatever obstacles and difficulties there are to making it possible for peace in the world, particularly in Korea.

To do that, we need to be agents of peace ourselves and therefore we have to be agents of establishing peace in the context of our ordinary daily lives. We need to practise forgiveness and reconciliation, and we need to do all that we can to promote and enter into relationships of love and service with others.

The more we do that in our own lives, the more we will create a pattern of life that enables us to build a foundation for peace to grow stronger and stronger.

Similarly, we need to show our solidarity with those Christians living in fear of persecution and violence by praying for peace in Syria, northern Iraq and Yemen, and by showing support for the millions of refugees fleeing these conflicts.

One of the first things Pope Francis did when he was elected five years ago as the successor of Peter was to say Mass for migrants on Italy’s tiny island of Lampedusa and condemn the global indifference to their plight. Since then he has spoken often of his concern for those fleeing war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty.

He has called for a concrete commitment to increase and simplify the process for granting humanitarian visas and for reunifying families.

On Holy Thursday in 2016, Pope Francis washed the feet of 11 young asylum seekers to highlight the need for the international community to provide shelter to refugees.

Here in Adelaide many people will be attending a peace rally on Palm Sunday to raise awareness of the plight of 30,000 refugees currently living on temporary visas in Australia and facing a very uncertain future.

While the bombing and destruction might be happening a long way from us, the human effect is right here on our doorstep and there is no escaping our own responsibility to respond to those seeking a safer life for themselves and their families.

Let us use this Easter – a time of faith, love and hope – to pray for peace throughout the world and in our own lives.

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