The Holy Land: charisms in communion for a new time of Pentecost

The Holy Land: charisms in communion for a new time of Pentecost 712 350 admin

May 2023 – A unique opportunity to get to know each other, to share and to rediscover the beauty of being a collective  witness to the Resurrection. This is what the Ecclesial Movements and the new communities  in the Holy Land were able to experience on the journey they began together at Pentecost a year ago.

Communion, participation and mission: these are the three key words related to the Synodal Pathway that was launched in October 2021. At its inauguration, Pope Francis invited followers of the Universal Church to listen and be close to others; this created the context of the local phase of the Synod.  At the invitation of Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Latin Patriarch  of Jerusalem,  the Ecclesial Movements and the new communities present in the Holy Land were able to meet, listen to each other and work in communion in preparing the 2022 Pentecost Vigil.  This was a special occasion when many people experienced the joy of feeling they were one body in the Church, enlivened and renewed by the Holy Spirit.  Within the sociopolitical and cultural context of the Holy Land, there was possibility of generating “unity,” learning from each other’s charism and putting one’s own at the service of all.

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa said, “I think that if we are to feel that we are one body, the first thing to do is to speak, to communicate but, above all, to listen. Listening does not mean only hearing, it means expecting to receive from the other person who becomes the subject –  I am not the subject,  the other person is.”

Pentecost marks the time when the Church on  its pilgrimage to meet the Lord, constantly receives  the Spirit from him. The same Spirit  gathers it in faith and charity, sanctifies it  and sends it on mission.

At Pentecost 2023 we share an account of this experience of communion.

Maria Grazia Berretta
Original post published in www.focolare.org

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Mariapolis in the Holy Land: vocation to community

Mariapolis in the Holy Land: vocation to community 712 350 admin

July 2022 – Being a community is more than just being together.It means responding to a call to build: giving life to a family sustained by the Word and meeting each other. Here, in this video, is what some people who participated in the Mariapolis of the Holy Land last July told us.

There is a light breeze which caresses the ancient ruins of the Church of St. George, in Taybeh, the only entirely Christian village in the Holy Land. According to Scripture, it is the place where Jesus came to rest with his followers before the Passion. And it was here, on 8th-9th July 2022 that adults, young people and children of the Focolare Movement gathered together to live a truly special Mariapolis, a moment of fraternity and true communion.

“Mariapolis is a time for the family to get together,” says Mayra, from Bethlehem, “It usually takes place every year but due to the pandemic we couldn’t have it. This year, after three years, we could and for me it’s like taking a break from my life and recharging myself spiritually.”

“To be witnesses of love” was the title of this two-day event that saw the participation of people from many regions of the country, from Haifa, Nazareth, to Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Gaza. Despite the socio-political and cultural challenges of the Holy Land, the desire to enjoy beauty and to live as a community give the strength to overcome physical and often inner barriers. The community is the place where we find the values that become nourishment, where we build a present and a future which respect the dignity of all; the place where listening to and witnessing to the other in the light of the Gospel invites us to better understand the work of God in our lives and, more than anything else, it is the place where no one is alone.

Marcell and Boulos, from Nazareth shared this with us: in their life-journey, they were able to experience support and family during the most painful moment of their lives, the death of their youngest son, Jack. And Khader, from Gaza, who despite the daily hardships to be faced in the context in which he lives, places his hope in God, joyfully recognizing the beauty of the vocation to which he is called: that of happiness.

Maria Grazia Berretta

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