A message of love from Jordan to Lebanon on its independence day

A message of love from Jordan to Lebanon on its independence day

By Fr. Rif’at Bader

Reports on Lebanon are being highlighted, as it is again the focus of prayers by Christians of the East and the world.

The surprising absence of the Lebanese prime minister from the political arena has almost caused confusion and a huge political vacuum in this "small" country.

Furthermore, the recent visit of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai to Saudi Arabia provided a glimmer of hope that there would be a breakthrough in the Christian relations with Christian Arabism, since the cross viewed on worn by the patriarch was neither normal and nor usual.

There is fear of a “conflagration” on the one hand a hope for a “breakthrough” on the other.

Statements have been issued from Churches of the East (such as the statement issued by the Syriac Catholic Church), expressing support for the Lebanese president’s balanced reactions in terms of opinions and wisdom as well as expressed in views and deeds. The main concern was "the preservation of Lebanon’s unity and common living", by recalling the words of Pope John Paul II: “Lebanon is not merely a homeland, but rather a message”. We know that common living is not only between different religions, but rather between various political shades that lived through difficult periods in the past.

On the other hand, Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher made a reassuring statement when he said: "There is no fear for Lebanon, so long there are constants relevant to reconciliation and respect for the private affairs of every party which is legally enshrined in the Lebanese constitution and accepted by everybody'.

So, will there be fear for Lebanon?

No doubt, there is fear, but there are hopes. Several postings on social networking sites state that there is no fear for Lebanon since it is “the country of saints”. Lebanon is celebrating its independence day the day following Lebanese singer Fairouz’ marking of her birthday and on the day people mark the memory of St. Charbel.

There are so many scenarios lying ahead, but there is hope that the visit of Lebanon’s Patriarch Rai to Saudi Arabia heralds very promising surprises. I pray for the stability of this country so that it would continue to serve as a message of respect and coexistence in the entire region and the world.

We hereby recall the words of Pope Francis last week during the Angelus prayer. He said: “A special thought I give to the dear Lebanese people, and pray for the stability of the country, so that it can continue to be a ‘messenger’ of respect and coexistence for the entire region and for the whole world.”

May Lebanon continue to live in peace, may Jordanian-Lebanese friendship be maintained all the time.

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