2014
custodia.org

A Pentecost Marked by Peace

While the Custos of the Holy Land was in Rome to organize the prayer for peace of Presidents Abbas and Peres, the friars of the Custody of the Holy Land began their celebrations by accompanying their South American brother Marlon Mendez Pavon, who received the Franciscan habit from the hands of the Custodial Vicar, Dobromir Jasztal.

The festivities continued the next day, Sunday the 8th of June, with celebration of the pontifical mass, also with Fra Dobromir presiding. The Latin and Arabic languages alternated in Saint Saviour church, dedicated to this feast of the Holy Spirit. The pastor of Jerusalem’s Latin parish, Fra Feras, preached the homily. He called on the faithful to pray for the meeting at the Vatican, emphasizing how important it is to trust the Holy Spirit, the only one “who can bring about complete change in our souls, impelling us to mercy and peace.” In promising us his Spirit, God promises to remain faithful to mankind and never to turn from them. God isn’t faithful one day and unfaithful the next; he is faithful every day. “In turn, we should be faithful to God and to mankind,” exhorted Fra Feras on this feast day of the birth of the universal church. More than anywhere else in the world, Jerusalem is the reflection of this church, expressed in multiple languages and rites.

Diversity and ecumenism were notable again in the Cenacle, where a little before Vespers the friars met the Armenian community, who had also come to pray on this rare day when the Cenacle’s upper room is open (only twice a year). Within the tight confines of the Cenacle a large number of people assembled to invoke the “spirit of creation, counsel and gifts” (Veni creator).

Added to ecumenism at the end of the evening was the inter-religious dialogue launched by the Holy Father on his recent visit to the Holy Land. As previously announced, the two chiefs of the Palestinian and Israeli states, together with Patriarch Bartholomew and the pope, met in the Vatican gardens. Evidencing a profound respect for one another, the meeting was marked by prayers for peace, testimonies and musical interludes that were conducive to meditation. This meeting that was avidly followed in the Holy Land crowned and closed Eastertide. As invoked by the Ecumenical Council of Churches “may the Spirit of Pentecost reveal itself in us that we may be one”.

E.R.

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