LETTER: Stretching our good will for peace in 2021

‘In 2021, let us climb the stairway of loving our neighbours’

2020 was like the year 64 A.D. in this way: a great fire ravaged Rome in July for six days. It left 70 per cent of Rome destroyed and one half of the population homeless. Emperor Nero played music or fiddled and partied while his people suffered and died. He was indifferent to their fate. The people had no peace of mind, for their emperor had no regard for their well-being.

Peace of mind was hard to find for us in 2020. Everything was turned upside down and inside out thanks to the ravages of the COVID-19 virus. It brought the worst out in us. Many turned from a peaceful climb up the stairway of loving my neighbour, at least in theory, to the reckless drive on the highway to I’m not my neighbours’ keeper, so get off my case!

Two thousand twenty-one dawns with the relief that vaccines can flatten the power of the sickness and death of the pandemic. It needs to be a year of peace. A peace without protesting that the government cannot tell me what to do. Wear a mask, isolate, and social distance in peace. In peace, forego public assembly in worship to protect the lives of others.

In 2021, let us climb the stairway of loving our neighbours by being our neighbour’s keeper in actions, not just theory.

Ray Maher

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