Let us return (for) peace

Publish date 29-12-2023

by Arsenale dell’Incontro

In this time here at the Arsenale dell'Incontro we share our daily life with many people who are affected closely - very closely - by war and violence - fathers, mothers, children, brothers, close relatives, dear friends... We are on paper a few kilometers from all of them, but the border that separates us is actually enormous, currently impassable. The temptation is to allow this impossibility of actually getting close to each of them to open the way to horizonless despondency. The feeling of helplessness is sometimes really great. But we said to ourselves that we don't want this to be the path we walk on..

We feel that in this difficult and dark moment, restitution can become the key to continuing to be a concrete sign of peace together. Making ourselves close to those around us and those entrusted to us with gestures, making ourselves close with the good we can do, making ourselves close by trying to be an open door always and in any case... becomes the credibility of our convinced yes to peace. A yes that is not made of words but of an effort that does not give up.
And he continues to bet that he can build peace even in those relationships that are perhaps a little closed. Continue to look for a way to stay close to those people or situations for which it is difficult to find a concrete answer.

Then we told each other to commit ourselves to continuing to keep the doors of the Arsenale open to all the children and young people who frequent us and their families, with even greater strength and availability than usual. We told ourselves to commit ourselves so that every gesture, every word, every look they receive from when they cross the threshold of the Arsenale to when they leave is a breath of peace: never before have they had it and we need it so as not to get intoxicated by the crowded air of hatred and violence and ugliness that surrounds us! We asked ourselves to give them all the good and all the affection with which we would like to embrace, even physically, the distant people we love and every child beyond the border... believing together that this restitution somehow reaches everyone too of them, because it keeps alive in our hearts and in this land the hope of an achievable peace, of a possible encounter, of a good that does not hold back, not even in the moment of the greatest suffering.

It is not always easy to keep our differences together, to look at them as an asset. But the desire that unites us to put the little ones at the center - those little ones who in the eyes of many have no value but for us are the greatest value - to be looked after and helped to grow with all our strength, helps us and urges us to do so, "steadfast in hope against all hope" (Rom 4:18). And it encourages us to try to make even the suffering we are going through, our efforts, our difficulties, sometimes our misunderstandings, become a sign of peace... so that our community is a small sign of light that continues to constantly saying yes to peace, with consistency continues to be a bridge. Never as in this time is it needed.

The Sermig Brotherhood in Jordan
NP November 2023

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