Our Father in Heaven,
Today as we commemorate the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender in the Second World War, or what we call in Chinese "The Eight Years' War of Resistance", may I ask for Your Almighty's mercy on the people of Egypt.
As far as I can remember from the Bible, Egypt and Israel were antagonistic since the time of Joseph, Jacob's son. The Pharaoh asked midwives to kill baby boys born of Hebrew mothers. But the midwives refused and lied to him that the Israeli women were rigorous in health and their babies were born before the midwives arrived. (Exodus 1:15-22) Not to mention that Moses and Aaron had performed the Ten Plagues in front of the Pharaoh that eventually forced him to release the ill-treated Israelis from slavery. (Exodus 7:1-12:42)
Bygones are bygones, after all. I do remember though shortly after his election, Pope Francis has called for open and respectful inter-religious dialogue to avoid further clashes and damages. I am sure he would not have done this without Your guidance. Speculations on his intentions abound, but I truly believe that to promote mutual respect and understanding, to cultivate love and friendship, is the best way forward. We have made enough mistakes in the past. It is time to shrug off the conventional way of thinking and explore new possibilities for reconciliation and collaboration. What I am concerned though is that whether Pope Francis' relatively liberal position can sustain in the Roman Church.
So even if the Egyptians are not Christians, I beg for your love and mercy on them, so that the horrendous violence and political chaos on their land would come to an end sooner than later. Before the political turmoil and brutal suppression ignite the first flame of civil war, please help the Egyptians mend the widening rift with courage and wisdom. When we commemorate our bitter and hard-earned victory over Japanese militarism more than sixty years ago, it is heart-sinking to read and watch that some people thousands of miles are away have lost their lives – at the hands of their fellow citizens.
China is no stranger to civil war, as You know. We simply had too many. People with different beliefs and interests have been fighting against each other for millennia. But this doesn't mean that we are indifferent to the suffering of other people. I think just because we have endured so much pain and loss, we are reluctant to see the same happening to the others.
In addition to Egypt, let my prayer go to all those who are facing death, war and brutality in Syria and many other parts of the world. Please bestow the political and military leaders, or whoever they may be, courage and wisdom to set aside their conflicting interests and work together for reconciliation. Peace, in addition to freedom, should be a basic human right. At least so do I believe.