February 6, 2023
Today is the sixth of our daily reflections for Interfaith Harmony Week. The Interfaith Peace Project is pleased to offer you these reflections for each day of Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1-7, 2023. World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February. The General Assembly of the United Nations designated this week to point out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace. Therefore, the General Assembly established World Interfaith Harmony Week to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.
Our reflections this year come from the diverse people we have met on the streets. The houseless community is a vital part of the Interfaith Community. Over the years, we have learned the wisdom of simplicity from our friends in the streets. We are pleased to share their wisdom, courage, and creativity with you. The names and locations of the various individuals have been changed for their safety and anonymity. The people involved in these reflections asked for nothing but the opportunity to be heard, and we are grateful for their sharing.
INTERFAITH HARMONY WEEK
THE WISDOM OF THE STREETS
NO ONE SHOULD SUFFER
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
David is an extraordinary young man. A man of deep passion whose heart is broken daily by the suffering of others. He becomes overwhelmed when he hears of cruelty. David is a gentle soul who is often alone in his grief and anguish.
I met David several years ago. His mother introduced us. He was struggling, and she thought we should get to know one another. David and I became good friends. We spent long hours musing on the meaning of life and the situation of the World.
David was everything. A young man of remarkable talent and ability. One minute he was a poet, then an artist. He loves to write and sing. However, he could not hold on to a job or settle down. He finds it impossible to be at peace.
One day he said there was too much suffering in the World. He cried, “It ought not to be this way. People deserve better. I love them. Why should I have anything when so many people have nothing?”
The Doctors now say David has emotional and psychological problems. Perhaps, but his heart is simply beautiful. He loves those who are hated. He even loves those who hate themselves. David is a great blessing to me, and I hope to you.
A WISE TEACHING
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. … 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
The New Testament
Whom shall I love today?