“Yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried.” Isaiah 53:4
These words are taken from the suffering servant song in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Many scholars in the Church believe this is the direct prophecy of what would take place some 700-800 years later when Jesus suffered and died on Calvary for us. These words can give us comfort in times of sorrow. We remember this week all those who have died in war.
On Sunday, it will be the 11th Day of the 11th Month and at the 11th hour, within our local communities, special Remembrance services will be held to remember all those who have given their lives for their country in times of war and unrest. This year is of particular significance as it will be the Centenary Year of the Armistice, when the powerful guns of war fell silent after four devastating years of war and violence in 1918.
During this weekend and in the days weeks and months to come, let us remember all who have died and have been injured – and their families and friends– and commit ourselves to be people of peace and love as we seek to imitate Our Lord Jesus in our daily lives. It is a poignant time of reflection on the courage and sacrifice of so many who gave their lives to secure our freedom.
This powerful and reflective verse which is said every Remembrance service is taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the fallen.”
They shall grow not old as we who are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
We will remember them.
These words from the Kohima in Myanmar (Burma) epitaph are also said as part of these special services all around the world.
“When you go home tell them of us and say; ‘For your tomorrow, we gave our today.’ ”
This season of Remembrance Sunday, let us pray for all those who have died in the service of their country; those who have to live with the physical, mental and emotional scars of war, their families and friends; civilians who have died and all victims of war; refugees who have been displaced from their homeland because of war and civil unrest that still rage in our troubled world today.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, You died on the Cross for us to bring us closer to You and to each other. Lead us from death to life, from lies to truth. Lead us from despair to hope and from fear to trust. Lead us from hatred to love from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe, peace, peace, peace. In Your Name we pray. Amen.
Adapted from “A prayer for peace.” Catholic Online.