We are all ‘Francis’ now

There were many striking images during the extraordinary 72 hours that Pope Francis spent in the Middle East.

The Pope at the River Jordan, visiting with Syrian refugees, celebrating mass in Bethlehem, praying at the separation wall, uniting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, visiting the Dome of the Rock, leaving a note at the Western Wall, kissing the hands of Holocaust survivors… to name a few.

However, the image that stood out most to me was a spontaneous embrace between Sheikh Omar Abboud, Rabbi Abraham Skorka and Pope Francis in front of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

The three religious leaders from Argentina held to each other in solidarity, drawing strength from their friendship and experiencing a moment of sacredness; made more holy by one another’s presence.

These three representing the different faith traditions that inhabit the Holy Land offer to all of us a symbol of hope in a land that is desperate for peace.

Traveling with his Muslim and Jewish friends, the Pope used the powerful practice of compassion to hear and honour the stories of pain, struggle and hope of people in all different locations in the Mideast conflict.

The Pope didn’t take one side or the other, he took the side of peace and so can we. Continue reading.

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush is a Baptist minister and the Executive Religion Editor for the Huffington Post.

Source: Huffington Post

Image: New York University


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