We have been breathing joy, optimism and excitement to promote a new way of being a country. 26 September was a very busy day for all of us who were invited to attend the official ceremony of the signing of the Colombia peace agreement, in Cartagena. As I met other participants, a strong common feeling of hope was present in every shake of hands, every hug and every look.
We were welcomed by the sound of drums of our ancestors, denouncing the blind eye turned by the State for many years to the tragedies of the war. The drums also expressed the dream of a Colombia where all can live without war and with better opportunities.
An ecumenical service was held at the church of San Pedro Claver and I was invited to bring greetings on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) and express solidarity with their efforts to reach the end of armed conflicts in Colombia and in the world.
Father Francisco de Roux, who was responsible for the homily, promoted the dignity we have as human beings, with no distinctions of race nor religion, titles nor hierarchy, together before the altar, holding the hands of other participants and representatives of several churches and traditional leaders.
The words of Luke 16:19-31 enlightened us and reminded us that unfair distribution of wealth is a cause of war and that we are called by Jesus to build relationships based on equality and dignity.
The day of the signing of the agreement between the government and the FARC was a day of shared optimism.
All of us who believed that the war could end have worked tirelessly for this day and longed for it for so many years. We always believed that Colombia could take the decisive step towards the other, better world we believe to be possible and that we need to continue to build.
And there I was, representing the WCC, bringing the support from our member churches and hoping to honor the legacy of our leadership and staff who has been working for justice and peace every day in many parts of the world.
God of life, lead us to justice and peace!