On August 9, 1945 as an unquestioning American nationalist US army chaplain George Zabelka prayed for the safe return of the pilots being sent out to drop an Atomic Bomb on Nagasaki.
He ‘blessed the bombs.’
Half a century later he wrote these stunning words:
God, Christ, lives in every human being. Our Lord tells us that what is done to the “least” is in fact now done to Him (Mt 25). I believe that! That is the only kind of God that I could adore and love, a God who lives in human history and suffers with people. I could only fear a god that sat as a depersonalized king above the anguish of humanity. This is part of what the Incarnation is all about. Christ suffers and dies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Therefore to condone or support war is to condone or support the call to “Crucify Him.” To kill in war is, in fact, to be a “Christ-killer.” I’m sorry I can say nothing else – if Calvary is a holy place, Hiroshima and Nagasaki are holy places. -Fr George Zabelka
In 1988, at a Pax Christi (a Catholic peace movement) conference, Father George Zabelka makes a call for us to be prophets.
Thank God that I’m able to stand here today and speak out against war, all war. The prophets of the Old Testament spoke out against all false gods of gold, silver, and metal. Today we are worshipping the gods of metal, the bomb. We are putting our trust in physical power, militarism, and nationalism. The bomb, not God, is our security and our strength. The prophets of the Old Testament said simply: Do not put your trust in chariots and weapons, but put your trust in God. Their message was simple, and so is mine.
We must all become prophets. I really mean that. We must all do something for peace. We must stop this insanity of worshipping the gods of metal. We must take a stand against evil and idolatry. This is our destiny at the most critical time of human history. But it’s also the greatest opportunity ever offered to any group of people in the history of our world – to save our world from complete annihilation (to read a larger excerpt, click here).
An absolutely stunning call to peacemaking. Indeed, we must become prophets.
The ‘becoming’ part is where it gets difficult.
What is your immediate reaction to the words of Father George Zabelka? How can you be a prophet of peace in your neighbourhood?