Israel – Gaza October 2023
A message from Bishop Paul Swarbrick
The tragedy unfolding in Gaza, Israel, is just what the world does not want. But there is undoubtedly more to come, and as the experts tell us, it will get worse before it gets better.
As Bishop I refuse to see the situation as a lost cause – that is not the way Jesus asks us to see it. If we only listen to the media we will be overwhelmed and lose hope.
The Gospels were written in that region, arising out of the life of Jesus who came to call sinners to salvation because they were incapable of saving themselves. He has already entered not only Israel but Gaza too. He hears the cry of the poor and desperate. We must also hear their prayers. We many not be able to bring about any improvement in the immediate situation, but we must not lose sight of Jesus. The Gospel must still be read and heard. We must join in prayer with Israelis and the citizens of Gaza, Jews, Muslims and Christians and we must unite in prayer.
What I would also ask is that each of us become more sensitive to our sisters and brothers, and strangers in our daily lives. May we care for one another more generously even if we have serious differences. May we not let animosities grow and deepen. If they do, they can take us into very dark places. Thank God for Christ, our Light.
We pray for all who have lost their lives, for the bereaved and injured. We pray for all who are victims of violence and injustice. We pray for the leaders of peoples, especially of Israel and Gaza. We pray for all wars to cease.
Rt Rev Paul Swarbrick
Bishop of Lancaster