12/18/2006, 00.00
HOLY LAND
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At Christmas, believe in peace regardless, says Custodian of Holy Land

In a letter, Fr Pizzaballa called for a return to the Gospel that “welcomes Jesus, who is the one who can justify our life, who can give us the sense of beauty and joy of our origins.”

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – Turning back to the Gospel to give meaning to our lives and to believe that, in spite of everything, peace will prevail on all the peoples who live in the Holy Land: this is the Christmas greeting of Fr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Custodian of the Holy Land.

“Hark!” wrote Fr Pizzaballa in a letter. “Jesus is yet again inviting us to his Gospel, to the good news which is announced to the little ones and the poor, to prisoners and to the oppressed.  Indeed, we want to have the courage of hope and the power of forgiveness.  We want to believe that, in spite of everything, peace will prevail on all the peoples who live in the Holy Land: they shall be called the holy people (Is 62:12).

Hark!… We want to listen to the voice of the watchmen who invite us to unite ourselves to their joy, to believe in what they have seen with their own eyes: the return of the Lord to Zion.  It is the voice of those who live the beatitudes, of those who hunger and thirst for justice, of those who are merciful.  We therefore renew our sure hope in God, who spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors, and who in these last days spoke to us through a Son (Heb 1:1-2).”

This will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger… (Lk 2:12).  In front of this Child we rediscover the truth of our being human beings, brothers and sisters who are all equally loved by the Father.

It is our duty to give witness, giving life to the miracle of marvelling at the great works of the Lord.

As we near the celebration of the 800th anniversary of the foundation of the Order of Friars Minor, the Custody of the Holy Land extends to all the Franciscan invitation and greeting: to turn back to the Gospel, because it is only in turning back to the Gospel that we can accept Jesus, who is the one who can justify our life, who can give us the sense of beauty and joy of our origins.

Merry Christmas and Peace and all Good to all.”

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