Praying for Peace and Humanity

It was only two weeks ago that we thrilled to a majestic vision of humanity and peace; of humility and brotherly love; of respect and caring across nations and cultures. Such was the vision we received when we witnessed Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II striding side-by-side among the people of our homeland. When the Pope’s visit concluded, many of us closed our eyes with a deep hope that the world could be a better place under the gentle ministry of our Lord and Savior.

Two weeks later, we seem to have awakened in a very different world.

This has been a week of social disorder and the arrogance of power, of injustice and violence—culminating in the horrifying massacre of police officers in Dallas, Texas.

At this writing, the public has only the barest details of what occurred on the night of July 7-and no final clarity on any of the deadly encounters of the week: whether they were tragically mistaken judgments or acts of malice.

What is sadly evident, however, is the hate, the rage, the eagerness to cast blame and use this chaotic moment to demonize opponents. Equally evident by its absence is that sense of fellow feeling and common purpose which, in the best case, could unite a citizenry in moments of tragedy, lifting us up from despair and self-absorption.

Obscured in all of this is the personal loss of human beings, the grief of families and loved ones-none of it warranted, none of it deserved, whatever the circumstances. As Armenian Christians, we are not unfamiliar with such pain, and we cry out from the depths of our experience in prayerful solidarity with the victims.

The issues involved in the events of this week will not recede when we close our eyes. The fearful visions of an unwinding society will still be with us tomorrow. But we must affirm that this is not the only vision available to mankind. The followers of Jesus Christ hold to a different vision: of peace and humanity, of love and mutual respect. Against the storm of violence, our Lord calls each of us to reveal this tranquil vision to the world. May his will be done.

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