UST SecGen urges Thomasians to be peacemakers as Israel-Hamas conflict escalates

Photo by Madeleen Saguid/THE FLAME

UST SECRETARY-GENERAL Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. has urged Thomasians to uphold their vocation as peacemakers and to avoid being indifferent to others’ sufferings as the conflict between Israel and Islamist group Hamas rages on.

In his homily during the Mass for Peace last Friday, Oct. 27, Coronel said peace is an active pursuit that lies not just in the absence of conflict but in the presence of justice and reconciliation.

“We understand that the conflict is…complex, rooted in historical grievances, political tensions and different [perspectives] on the same geographical location. Yet, it is precisely in these times of complexity and adversity that our call to be peacemakers shines more brightly,” Coronel said.

“Our prayers and effort should be directed towards not only the resolution of conflicts, but also the healing of wounds and the restoration of trust,” he added.

The University official said such a time calls for people of faith to pray, fast and perform penance to attain peace, which begins within one’s heart through self-reconciliation.

“It is through cultivating inner peace that we can better achieve it our own, becoming the ambassadors of God’s peace in the world, we are truly needed,” Coronel said.

According to him, one should not be indifferent to the conditions of others as peacemaking requires awareness and empathy even on affairs concerning foreign countries.

“To be peacemakers, it means to seek understanding and dialogue even when it seems impossible, to stand up for the rights and dignity of all people and to promote reconciliation and forgiveness,” Coronel said.

“We can choose to be instruments of reconciliation in our world, and it starts in our families, in our communities [and] in our workplaces.”

The mass was held at the Santisimo Rosario Parish church in response to Pope Francis’ call for a day of fasting, prayer and penance on Oct. 27 to end the war in Gaza Strip.

In a circular dated Oct. 10 and signed by Coronel, UST called for an immediate end to the armed conflict through peaceful avenues, describing violence as “wasteful and damaging.” F – M.A. Selda

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