The words of Father Furaha rang out through the church in Kenya. "Go in the
peace of Christ to love and serve the Lord and one another.” Alerted that the
first mass was now over, Maria stood outside the Church door as the congregation
streamed out. Mothers carrying babies, youth dressed in the latest fashions and
little girls in colorful dresses, protectively shielded by their fathers, passed
by her. Looking downwards, she noticed two little boys pushing their way
between the various tall legs to chase each other out into the church compound.
An Asian family, regular buyers at her small fruit kiosk, stopped to greet her,
while a lady with blonde hair moved past calling excitedly to her companion in
some foreign language. Really, thought Maria, all races, ethnic groups, sizes
and ages must live here in Kenya. It is good to see many different people
mixing happily together and looking so healthy and well dressed.
Recalling Father Furaha’s words of the previous Sunday filled Maria with hope
for her country in spite of the insecurity, corruption, suffering and poverty.
"We are made in the image and likeness of God, therefore all life is sacred and
each of us is of absolute value and worth," he had said. "Jesus has not
promised to remove suffering but has given us his Spirit and called us to help
each other in our suffering." Yes, Maria thought, if we could only see each
other as sacred and as a family then our world would be full of hope. It seems
that it is our inability to reverence and help each other as sisters and
brothers that is causing most of our suffering today.
Looking at an old man who was the last to leave the church, she became aware of
a new and deep concern for all life rising within her. Memories of last week’s
fight with her in-laws came to her. She still felt bitter about the way she had
been chased from their home but it was time now for reconciliation and
dialogue. It was time for trying to see all members of her family as worthy of
It was time also for the country to throw away the sticks, the stones, the guns
and spears and learn to live in harmony, caring for one another and working for
justice in an active non-violent way. It was time for reconciliation. Filled
with hope, Maria entered the church to attend mass and offer all her thoughts to
God in prayer.