JRS emergency services for displaced people in Syria. (Jesuit Refugee Service)
All: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus called Messiah?"
They all said, "Let him be crucified!"
But he said, "Why? What evil has he done?"
They only shouted the louder, "Let him be crucified!"
When Pilate saw that he was not succeeding at all, but that a riot was breaking out instead, he took water and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of this man’s blood. Look to it yourselves." (Matthew 27:22-24)
The Syrian tragedy has been deepening since early 2011. What started as a call for reforms by some Syrians has escalated into a full-scale conflict. The international community has not yet succeeded in creating the necessary conditions to halt the tide of bloodshed despite the desperate pleas of a majority of Syrians for an end to the conflict.
One third of the Syrian population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Those forcibly displaced either within the country or across the borders total nearly eight million people.
Dare we wash our hands of their plight like Pilate, or shall we immerse ourselves in solidarity — remembering that these injustices can be addressed?
Lord, may we not wash our hands of our brothers and sisters in Syria, and may you rain down upon them with all of the love and peace you were denied in your condemnation.
All: Our Father.