I'll begin with the good news.

This weekend, Christians and Jews are celebrating God's direct intervention in human affairs. They are recalling the miracles and mysteries of faith, taking comfort in the promise of a new life, whose joy overwhelms the bitter harvests of human misery.

The season also nourishes these hopes. Just outside out windows, lining the streets below, cherry trees have erupted in bloom, birds have returned to nest, grasses and flowers have become fragrant again.

Manmade wonders amaze as well. While technology has given us unprecedented powers of destruction, it also has deepened our capacity for empathy. We make everyone's problems our own.

Nearly half a world away lies Jerusalem, a city whose very name speaks of peace. Yet there, in the cradle of religions, men are scrawling out evidence of their wretchedness with the blood of others. We watch with broken hearts and churning stomachs.

Eventually peace will subdue war. One side will win, the other will bind up wounds. But the grim episode teaches us that while divinity always beckons and inspires, our weaknesses make us human and our humanity makes us weak.