8 Apr 2015

"We are all Cleophas and Simeon!"

From Terra Sancta Blog:

This Monday, April 6, the pilgrims’ bus headed for Emmaus Qubeybeh for a Pontifical Mass followed by the blessing of the bread presided over by Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custos of the Holy Land. As soon as the Israeli roadblock was left behind, the scenery changed: the winding road leading to the sanctuary of Emmaus alternates white stone houses and olive trees planted in a red ground. The sanctuary set amid the pastoral landscape offers a family atmosphere and a relaxing setting.

The Mass began to the song of the Alleluia. The prayers in Arabic, Latin, and Italian allowed the assembly to join together. “Christ will not abandon us, even in our times of doubt!” preached Brother Ramzi Sidawi, OFM. “We all made the journey of Cleophas and Simeon, we can all be in doubt. Let us walk with Him, in the Scriptures and in our daily journey based on our faith He will join us!”
After communion Father Custos blessed the bread and distributed it to every faithful, among them Maya, a young from the parish of Jerusalem. “Surely I am a local and the emotion may be less fresh than that of a pilgrim, she says, so I have to make the effort to put myself in his place. Pilgrims contribute to the faith of the local and our presence strengthens them. We feed one another. “
Brother Firas Hijazin, OFM explained that if he had to summarize the Holy Week in this Easter Monday it would be “a call for a new humanity: the world needs a new direction, because we live difficult times but we have to live them in hope, prayer and solidarity. This solidarity, he concluded, is manifested with the presence of pilgrims from around the world, because every Christian is the guardian of the Holy Land.”
The congregation was invited to lunch and to enjoy the weather. Some remained in the shade, others lay down on the grass, and others took advantage of the wonderful view from the terrace over the valleys towards the Mediterranean.

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