Here's some good news. This summer four young men, Momika, Emad, Petros and Paul were ordained priests for the Syriac Catholic Church in Iraq.
The ordination took place in the Erbil Aishty refugee camp, home to 5,500 people who fled the ISIS take over of Qaraqosh, Iraq's Catholic Center in 2014. Their seminary having been closed during the attack, the four moved to Lebanon where they completed their theological studies.
The makeshift sheet-metal church, which seats about 800, was packed with 1500 worshipers for the ordination. We can only imagine the joy these Christians felt that day: a bit of hope and strength restored.
In a Catholic News Service interview, Father Momika said, "I want to stand with the refugees despite the danger to our lives. I want to give them power, hope and courage to continue their lives to stay in their homeland."
So here it is: when everything spelled violence and death, fear, sorrow and loss, these four were ordained priests. Like the lotus in the August 12th post, sending out this splendid flower, up and out of the mud.
O Jesus, that we would be more joyful Christians.