Solemn Mass on the Mount of Beatitudes
GALILEE – This Sunday, January 31, Galilee faithful gathered on the Mount of Beatitudes for a solemn Mass celebrated by Patriarch Fouad Twal.
Each year on the last Sunday of January is the occasion for Galilee’s faithful to gather around their Patriarch. This initiative, which has become a ritual for Christians in Galilee, arose following the Pastoral Synod of the Churches of the Holy Land. It aims to bring the local communities closer, at the holy places. The community remains keenly aware of its role as protector of the Holy Place, and can thus fulfill its historical responsibility before the Church.
It was in brilliant sunshine that hundreds of faithful from all Galilee gathered in front of the Church of the Beatitudes, where the Patriarch Fouad Twal celebrated Mass. He was accompanied by Bishop Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Galilee, Bishop Bathish, Bishop Moussa El-Haje of the Maronite Bishop of the Holy Land, and about thirty Latin, Maronite and Melkite priests. The Mother Provincial of the Franciscan Sisters, Sr. Maria Elena Abdullah, the Ambassador of Malta to Israel, the Representative of Malta to Palestine, and a group of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre from Portugal were also present.
In his homily, the Patriarch offered a reflection on the Gospel of the Beatitudes: “The beatitudes are the message of our Lord Jesus Christ for us. They are the Book of Life and our program, especially in this year that the Pope proclaimed as the Year of Mercy.” He urged every Christian to reject the old man to put on the new man of the beatitudes, living contrary to the current of the world in which we live. “Those who live according to the Beatitudes will receive the Kingdom of God. They will inherit the earth, they shall be comforted, they will live in peace and justice, they will see God in their daily life and across the face of every human being, and whoever is merciful obtains mercy. And because they are called sons of God, they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven,” he added. He also stressed the need for everyone to be merciful craftsmen in all aspects of his life, so as to make Jesus present in all fields, political, social and family.
Before the final blessing, Bishop Marcuzzo spoke to remind all that important events will take place soon: the closing of the year of Consecrated Life on February 2, the Consecrated feast on the same day, and the World Day of the Sick, which will take place on February 11 in Nazareth, inviting all the faithful to actively participate in these celebrations.
Photos: Mike Shehadeh