• OPINION \ Apr 04, 2024
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    For Gaza’s Sake! – Yohanna Katanacho
For Gaza’s Sake! – Yohanna Katanacho

For Zion's sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not remain quiet (Is 62: 1). Jerusalem, Jerusalem! What a great and unique place! In Jerusalem, Solomon built the temple of God. In Jerusalem, the worshipers offered sacrifices to the merciful God. Jerusalem is the dream of humanity. It embodies the hope of ending wars and enmity between the nations as well as the end of every disease. It is the city of peace, of holiness, of justice, and of righteousness. It is the chosen city to represent divine salvation. The prophets fell in its love because the law will come out from Zion (Is 2: 4). The priests loved Jerusalem and wise people came to it. Kings loved to dwell in Jerusalem.

Isaiah described Jerusalem with these powerful words: No longer will violence be heard in your land, nor ruin or destruction within your borders, but you will call your walls Salvation and your gates Praise (Is 60: 18). The oppressed, the broken-hearted, the drug-addicts, violated women, refugees, prisoners, the exiled, the orphans, the sick, the poor, the people who suffer from all forms of oppression, the hungry, the hostages, the people of Gaza will take refuge in Jerusalem. All those who believe in the Lord of Jerusalem shall replace their pain and depression with joy and divine tranquility. God shall destroy every evil and dispel every darkness. O Jerusalem! I long for thee!

Isaiah cries out longing for Jerusalem, for justice and righteousness. Jerusalem is the downpayment of the Kingdom of God on earth. In Jerusalem we touch and experience the civilization of love, of equity, and of peace. Jerusalem is the light of the nations and the salt of the earth. The dream and the reality of Jerusalem was embodied in Christ whose body is the church. No wonder, Jerusalem is the city of the cross, the city of resurrection, the city of Pentecost, and the city of our Mother Church.
But could it be that Jerusalem is still in the season of the cross despite the resurrection of Christ? Could be it that we are still waiting for the resurrection of Jerusalem among the inhabitants of the “Holy Land”?! Jerusalem today is the city of division, the capital of religious and political wars. It is the forbidden city that is surround by walls, and checkpoints. Jerusalem is becoming the city of hatred and the question that cannot be answered. What shall we do? Can Jerusalem be saved?

Jerusalem is calling out its children of light, its messengers of love and Justice! Come and let us restore the dignity of Jerusalem! Let us fight against the evil that is maiming its reputation. Whoever hates hatred is called to build Jerusalem. Whoever is uplifting truth and righteousness is called to build Jerusalem. Whoever is challenging oppression is lighting a new candle in the darkness of its streets.

O Lord! Restore your mercies to Jerusalem and cloth it with the garments of salvation and justice. May it be called the city of justice and righteousness. Only then it will be a praise all over the earth. Change its people as well as its stones so that the stones will cry out honoring the tears of Christ who cried over Jerusalem because it did not know its season of consolation. End every oppression, every merciless theology, every hatred, and all the oppressive actions against the inhabitants of Jerusalem. May the sun of righteousness, justice, mercy, and peace shine upon Jerusalem so that all its children can worship God in Spirit and Truth. May politicians choose love instead of hate.

The fate of Jerusalem is ultimately in the hands of Christ, not people. Nevertheless, the children of Jerusalem cannot and should not abandon their mother. Jerusalem is distressed. Its women are crying, its children are hungry and homeless. Can the children of Jerusalem remember the message of Jerusalem during this resurrection season? Can they rebuild Jerusalem and bless both Palestinians and Jews without justifying evil or siding with killing innocent people! The credibility of the children of Jerusalem is connected to the dream of Jerusalem that can best be seen in Christ. Christ is Risen but his church is a little bit slow in rising!