“We need the Spirit to descend upon everyone so that everyone will realize they are part of one body, with every form of discrimination disappearing and ‘that fair decisions are made for the meek of the earth,’” he said.
“May the Spirit open our eyes so that we can truly recognize in our laws, in our attitudes and our collective and personal choices, the multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-identity reality of our society.”
Patriarch Pizzaballa said it was necessary to condemn not only physical violence, but the “violence which is all too often found in language.”
“An aggressive language leads inevitably to physical violence,” he said. “We must work with people of every faith who still believe in a future together and who strive for it.”
“We must not cultivate nor allow for the development of feelings of hatred,” said the patriarch. “We must not make anyone, be he Jewish or Palestinian, to feel rejected. We must be clearer in denouncing whatever divides. We cannot remain satisfied with inter-religious meetings on peace, thinking that they are enough to resolve the problems of co-existence.”
To do this, he said, will require a commitment to peace in schools, institutes, media, politics, and in places of worship.
“We are not alone. In the Spirit, the Resurrected Lord is among us, consoling us and sustaining us,” he said.
“Let us not then be discouraged. Let us not sadden the Holy Spirit of God, by whom we were sealed,” said Patriarch Pizzaballa. “May every bitterness, anger, hostility and every other negative feeling disappear. Only love, which is synonymous with the Spirit, can change the heart of men.”
“Let us ask this for ourselves, for our Church and for the Church in the world; and let us ask this for our Holy Land, for our governments, our pastors, for those who hold responsibility over peoples and institutions, that they may be led by the love of God more than human reckoning, which cannot produce life as we have seen in these recent days.”
Patriarch Pizzaballa prayed that the Holy Spirit “make us understand and enlighten our personal and ecclesial vocations in this social context of ours which is both wounded and wearied,” and that “it make us able to accept our realities without lies or delusions, putting words of consolation in our lips, giving us courage to defend justice without compromising the truth.”
“May it enable us to forgive,” he said.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter