Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, celebrated the Solemn Mass of the Resurrection of our Lord at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday 27 March 2016. In his homily he spoke on the need for peace and solidarity among Christians in the Holy lands and further afield.
“Let us, brothers and sisters, worthy of our heritage, be faithful witnesses, to be ‘the light of the world’ (Mt 5:14) to all those whom the Lord puts on our paths, among them thousands of pilgrims and tourists who come to this holy place every day, seeking God, and with all these alienated, broken and bruised people suffering in the midst of war and violence, who are waiting and looking for opportunities for a better life, better home and a peaceful world.”
Archbishop Twal went on to ask us all to abandon what divides us and pray for peace in our world:
“Brothers and sisters, the world awaits many of us, we who are the successors of the Apostles and the first Christian community. Today the Lord invites us to bury our worldly desires, our divisions, our hostility, our lack of faith, our lack of love and our selfishness in this Tomb, so we can be reborn and rise with Him to new life, a life of mercy! Let us put away the ‘old self’ (cf. Ep 4:22), who lives in fear and insecurity. Let us put on the new self, who believes in good and peace, and that God has promised, ‘I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly’ (Jn 10:10). Let us be firm and sincere in our hope, and pray, pray without ceasing, that peace will finally come to the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world.”
Archbishop Twal also included a special message for the people of Belgium following the recent tragic events:
“We ask Mr. Bruno Jans, Consul General of Belgium in Jerusalem to convey our condolences and assurance of our prayers to the people and the government of Belgium. Through you, we say, it is all of us around the world whose hearts are pierced by this tragedy.
For you all, we raise our prayers so that the hope of the Resurrection can heal your wounds and console your broken hearts.”
The full text of Archbishop Twal’s homily can be read here.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland will lead a pilgrimage of solidarity to the Holy Land later this year. More details of this pilgrimage can be found here.
Photo: Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore with Archbishop Twal.