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posted: 8/20/2011 5:00 AM

Time is now to demand peace

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We have faith and we pray for peace in Israel/Palestine. But, we desire more than peace. We desire love. Love is the greatest virtue of all. Without forgiveness and reconciliation, the beautiful shore of love is dark, even as pitch black as the deepest depression.

It may sound holy to pray for peace like it is some religious hobby, but it is time to go beyond our praying, our handshakes and kisses of peace in church. It is time to go out into the real world where the God of compassion and nonviolence lives and demand peace. Demand peace with a loud voice! Cross the bridge from the dark shore of blind faith to the beautiful but darker shore of passionate love.

Jesus said, whether we like it or not, "Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you." Faith, hope and love. The least of these, it may seem to many, is hope. But hope is the beautiful night bridge of light between the dark shores of faith and love. Cross it, and while crossing it, demand peace. The Lord's Prayer of forgiveness will work only if we sing it loudly and forgive each other while holding hands across the aisle. As a child reaches out to turn the face of its mother or father to get their undivided attention, may we somehow find a way to help each other pour out our half-full and half-empty glasses into the beautiful sharing chalice of the blood and love of Jesus until it is full and overflowing, and keep it that way.

George E. Bedingfield

Arlington Heights