I have never been to the Middle East, but its countries, seas and cities are etched into my DNA as a Christian. These places are part of the backdrop of my life, because they form the backdrop and narrative to God's covenant with his people, with the life of Jesus and the lives of his disciples after his death and resurrection. Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine... Damascus or Jerusalem... each one evokes a story or psalm or verse from Isaiah distinctly at odds with its present-day bloody reality.

So I watch the news from Egypt, and I recall how this country was a place of refuge and safety for Jesus and his parents when he was a vulnerable baby at risk of a violent death. I recall the scene from Pasolini's film The Gospel According to St Matthew; a content, idyllic, secure scene, in which the toddler Jesus runs into the outstretched arms of Joseph, who has just been told it is safe to return home.* The contrast with the violent, rage and grief-filled scenes I see on the news is too great.

There is nothing more I can say, except that much prayer is needed, for those who suffer and mourn right now, and for those who can alter the course of events.

*The scene I refer to isn't in this trailer, but the song, Sometimes I feel like a motherless child, feels especially, prayerfully poignant.


  1. Thank you Sylvana for sharing these reflections with us. Yes the killing is atrocious. The despair on the faces of these people who fought for peace and democracy calls us to deep prayer in solidarity with them. Know that I am united with you in prayer for these people who suffer and who generate suffering in their brethren.
    United in Him
    Mariella rscj


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