The Mount of Beatitudes in jubilation
Mount of Beatitudes: On Sunday 25 January, on the occasion of the feast day of Mount of Beatitudes, a large crowd gathered for Solemn Mass round Patriarch Fouad Twal and for a friendly day where families, nuns and priests were able to meet, taking advantage of an early Springtime.
Warm sunshine. Parents and children, priests, nun, pilgrims, local Christians coming from all over Galilea, and the country, rushed in large numbers to this little “hill” facing the Lake of Tiberias which the Gospel talks about, where two thousands ago crowds hastened to hear Jesus. On this Sunday as well crowds were there, in this staircase-shaped garden, looking over the Lake, as it was two thousand years ago, Catholic, Orthodox, young and less young people.
Mass was celebrated in the open air by His Beatitude Patriarch Fouad Twal. Among the concelebrants were Mgr Marcuzzo, Mgr Bathish, Bishop Emeritus of Jerusalem, Maronite Bishop Mgr El Hage, as well as other Latin priests, melkites and maronites, all in an ecumenical brotherly spirit, coinciding with the opening of the Week of Prayers for the unity of Christians.
In his homily in Arabic, Patriarch reminded the faithful how the Beatitudes today constitute a “real challenge” and “go contrary to the world we are living in”. “Who would trust us when we speak about tenderness, forgiveness and poverty when we are living in a word of violence, of subjugation and of money?”
The Beatitudes, the Patriarch further said, are a “concentrate of the life of Christ” and “should serve for us as an agenda of life”. At the beginning of this week devoted tom prayers for unity of Christians, the Patriarch spoke also about “the wound, still open, of our separation, more visible in the Holy Land where we, Christians, are so few in number”.
The Patriarch later referred to the happy coincidence which this year combines the year of the family with that of the consecrated life. More than a coincidence, this reality is meaningful because “the family is called to consecrate itself to God. Father, mothers devote themselves for the sake of their children. And before God we stand as one and the same family.” He thanked all the faithful present, namely brothers and sisters from different congregations of the diocese, for their involvement in the sectors of education, health, social services, etc. He did not fail to greet the warm welcome of the Franciscan sisters for this day which was more of a “family feast day” and a “first day of Springtime”
Myriam Ambroselli Photos : abouna.org