during the 11:00 A.M. Mass
at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, December 2, 2001
The Jewish prophet Isaiah, writing some 700 years before Christ, gives expression today to our Advent hope for the coming of God's kingdoma kingdom of justice, of unity, of love, of peace.
Unfortunately, the swords have not yet been turned into plowshares. The news from the Middle East is most distressing. The future of Israel and Palestine is threatened by those committed to senseless and immoral acts of terrorism such as the killing of innocents in Israel during the last 24 hours. Such terrorist acts and suicide bombings are moral obscenities, which deserve universal condemnation. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify such acts.
We must not allow peace to be held hostage by those determined to thwart it. These acts are attempts to derail the peace process. Both Israeli and Palestinian leadership must overcome the temptation to be intransigent. Now, more than ever, there must be a willingness on both sides to take risks for peace.
May the vision of Isaiah inspire the search for peace between the Israeli and the Palestinian people, and may our prayers in God's Providence contribute to that peace.