If we see Zelensky and Putin embrace what will you think? So much hatred there has been, so much suffering and death, and unhappiness will dominate the lives of millions. And those two embrace?
Would you feel glad or angry? Have you been praying for peace or for victory? If the two leaders embrace it will be peace: if they speak separately it will be victory and both will present their version of the truth to please those who want to claim victory.
In 1945 World War II ended. The people celebrated VE Day, Victory in Europe Day. There were no celebrations in Germany. I remember (I was ten) being angry in church. Candles, incense, singing, prayers, thanking God for victory. VE Day. A few months later, after atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we celebrated Victory in Japan day.
Are you praying for a victory in the Ukraine or for Ukraine, or for all who have suffered and need now to create or build a better world? When that day of hostilities’ ceasing comes we can go back to how we were or look forward to creating a new world with our children who know nothing of how we were. Today’s world is all they know.
The oldest amongst us can tell the children that something costing 50p really costs ten shillings. Ten shillings wouldn’t buy you an ice-cream but ten shillings was a day’s wage for a working man, £5 per week, in the years after World War II. The very elderly remember and are angry that their reality is no longer acceptable. Do you get angry or do you lose your temper? Being angry is good because it judges what is not right and that we must do something; but losing your temper does no one any good, it is being selfish or self-indulgent.
I want to see Zelensky and Putin embrace. I want them to love the people they have been killing, to regard them all as their own, to suffer for and with all of them whether their colours are blue and yellow or red.
What a world their embrace might begin to create. I wonder if football fans with their violence and fights would be inspired or turn on each other even more violently unless separated by police or soldiers.
What problems will remain when the war in Ukraine comes to an end? The ones we face every day now: nurses and doctors attacked on hospital wards, women and children and men battered in their own homes, people in labour and migration camps, alcoholics, gamble and drug addicts, greed, the very wealthy looking to be very very wealthy, the powerful to become more powerful, abandoned and rejected to be rescued, those without food to be fed and education for everyone to know the dignity of good work and given their place in creating a new world.
God is with us and we are with each other. Love of our neighbour is first, to be shared by the human family in ending all prejudices, and then love of God for those who believe in God. “Love one another,” said Jesus, and “Be perfect as you heavenly Father is perfect.” Embrace the world.
God bless us,
Related Links: Popular Reads and Fr John’s Parish Newsletters
(30th April 2023)