Easter Monday: “With Jesus in Emmaus it’s the entire History of Salvation that is accomplished”
EMMAUS NICOPOLIS – On Monday March 28, 2016, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, presided over a mass in the ruins of a Byzantine basilica on one of the presumed sites of the Lord’s apparition in Emmaus after His Resurrection.
Emmaus Nicopolis is one of three possible places where Christ had appeared to the disciples after Resurrection: “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus about 7 miles from Jerusalem (Luke 24, 13). The site Emmaus Nicopolis is entrusted since 1993 to the Community of Beatitudes.
Mass was presided by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Twal, in presence of Emeritus Patriarchal Vicar Kamal Bathish, Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarcal Vicar for Nazareth, Dom René Hascoët, Abbot of the Abbey of Latrun, as well as the Community of Beatitudes, guardians of the site. A group of priests and pilgrims from Ivory Coast was also present.
In his homily the Patriarch mentioned the mystery of Emmaus where disciples recognized Jesus Christ only at the moment of fracturing the bread: “it is this mystery which we live right now while we celebrate the Eucharist (…) With Jesus in Emmaus, it is all the history of Salvation which is accomplished: world’s salvation and my own salvation. Jesus went in search for man in the midst of night and dressed him with clothes of salvation”. Patriarch Fouad Twal then highlighted the importance of these places for Christians of the Holy Land: “We, the people of the Holy Land, making our way in history and space, every time we turn away from the Lord, our eyes open up, only to see that we are nothing. We are only small creatures of nothing. And if we’ve got something beautiful and good, that comes from Him (…) It is the mystery of the Holy Land: the Holy Spirit himself led men and women, found them in these holy places of Emmaus (…) It is the mystery of Incarnation present here in Emmaus, as it is present in Bethlehem, it is the presence of Salvation which waits us”. At the conclusion of his homily, the Patriarch called on the crowd to learn to keep silent in order to listen more: “Let us ask before anything else the blessing to teach ourselves to be silent: listening to the Lord’s teaching, listening to fellow man, to contemporary men, to their fears, to their hopes to respond to the light of the Gospel”.
Rev. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, OFM, Custos of the Holy Land, on Monday morning mass at Emmaus Qubeibeh. Many pilgrims walked during the day towards the different presumed places of Emmaus, in the footsteps of the Risen Lord.
Photos : ©LPJ/Thomas Charrière