Science

When the desert blooms

On Saturday March 6, 2021, television screens are broadcasting live images of the planet Mars taken by the Perseverance robot. A desert immensity dominated by shades of ocher colors. No life on the horizon, nothing. Absolute silence disturbed by a robot sent from Earth.

We zap and we come across an almost identical image, that of desert expanses made of an ocher color, similar to that of Mars, taken live from the surroundings of the ancient city of Ur in Chaldea, in ancient Mesopotamia. where history began and where, for the first time, a man, Abraham, heard in the silence of the desert a voice which he recognized to be that of the historical God. On Mars, nothing but desolation. On the land of Ur, in the midst of desolation, we could make out a small spot of color, that of a gathering of women and men who came to commemorate, with this astonishing Pope Francis, the meeting of man and God. , in this corner of Mesopotamia, according to the Bible story.

Decidedly, this Bishop of Rome will never cease to surprise us. The images from Iraq are imbued with an authentic bonhomie, debonair ease, simplicity, majestic modesty, but above all with pensive, loving and painful humanity reminiscent of that of the good Saint Nicholas, the bishop of Myra in Lycia. , now disfigured as Santa Claus or Santa Claus. Yes, the visit of Francis of Rome to Mesopotamia, at the very roots of our civilization and our monotheistic religions, resembles the gifts of Saint Nicholas to all those who suffer. Francis burst into a land of desolation, in the midst of a decimated people, a torn country, a humanity scorned by all the violence committed in the name of ideologies of modernity but also in the name of the God of Abraham through various networks of contemporary apocalyptic illuminism and nihilism, which transform eschatological hope into political projects marked by the sulphurous emanations of evil as they are inhuman. These political, or secular, religions are rooted in more than one branch of the great Abrahamic family.

Going back the path of Abraham, Pope Francis wanted, in the midst of rubble, ruins and tears, to lavish the consolation of human fraternity in all simplicity. He takes up the message, heard long ago by Abraham in these places. He amplifies it in the four corners of the earth, but especially in this bloodied East, to include all men of good will, regardless of their beliefs. “Fratelli Tutti” is the name of the gift that this good Saint Nicholas of modern times wishes to give to humanity.

His prophetic message begins humbly in the middle of the desert which the Semitic languages ​​of the ancient East call “midbar,” a term which also means “mouth” or the place of speech. “A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare a way for the Lord […] the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken ”(Isaiah 41: 3-5). In the “midbar” (desert / mouth), the Word transforms chaos into an articulated and harmonious cosmos. It is the providential message, coming from the depths of our memory, that the mouths of all those who spoke in the desert of Ur have transmitted to us: Christians, Muslims, Mandaeans and others. It is by the word that the desert can flourish. “Waters shall flow in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35: 6). This biblical verse recalls the Koranic account of the wandering of Hagar and Ishmael, the son she had from Abraham, in the Arabian desert from which the waters of the Zemzem spring will flow and quench their thirst.

To the Christians of the land of the East, the Pope came to console them by reminding them, in his gentle and fatherly voice, that they are beatified because they are persecuted and afflicted, as the Gospel says; but let them remain “the salt of the earth and the light of the world” (Matthew 35:13). It is a similar message that Patriarch Béchara Raï had addressed to the suffering Lebanese, a week before the Pope’s trip.

Thus, from the Mediterranean to Mesopotamia, its strategic lock, it is clear that any project of alliance of minorities constitutes suicide for Christians. This pope, bearer of the spirit of poverty and fraternity, came to his family in order to face with gentleness, tenderness, simplicity and the love of men, the religious evil in the heart of the lands of the East where man heard, for the first time, the voice of heaven.

On Saturday March 6, 2021, television screens are broadcasting live images of the planet Mars taken by the Perseverance robot. A desert immensity dominated by shades of ocher colors. No life on the horizon, nothing. Absolute silence disturbed by a robot sent from Earth.We zap and come across an almost identical image, that of desert expanses made …

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