I was among the privileged to be at the 9/11 memorial site in New York City when Pope Francis made his way to the stage to give blessings and speak. People from different faiths and practices gathered to share prayers for peace; it was an interfaith ceremony held in a place where so many are remembered and so much was lost.
I took away from the crowded room, filled with diverse holy people, some things the Pope said – or that I interpreted from his words. They are meaningful for me, as a Jewish woman. And perhaps for you, as well.
Pope Francis remembered those who suffered on 9/11 at the hands of individuals who somehow believed inflicting harm was their duty. He linked the lives that we lost, and the pain of those who forever remember them, to people who suffer today amid violence and war – because others continue to impose undue harm.
He spoke of mourning and how peace is not just an abstraction. As I listened, I thought of the child crying, hungry and frightened in war-torn conflicts. I must hear her cries, as if she were my own.
The People’s Pope urged us to seek pathways to peace amid our differences. A peace that stops the fighting but, also, the poverty, destruction and hopelessness.
The People’s Pope sees all people. And he reminds us to join with him.
Join us by reading and sharing our Shared Visions, a project that reminds us how the world’s religions share many core values.
With great gratitude,
Joyce S. Dubensky