before peoples and say: God our Savior comes". In these difficult days,
for us and for the whole world, we need to hear this happy announcement:
"God our Savior comes.. Yes, God comes in his power, and all men will see
begin today the time of the Advent, before the Christmas feast. It is a time
of fasting and penitence, a time in which we are invited to purify our
relations with all our brothers, either they are from our religion or from a
different religion, and even those with whom we are in political and military
conflict, in order to put back this fundamental truth in front of our eyes:
Every human being, near or faraway, friend or hostile, is first and foremost
God's creature, the object of his love, and, like us, he is called to holiness
and to salvation.
all parts of the diocese, we live the time of the Advent in communion with our
Holy Land in its quest of justice and peace, facing in these days the
indomitable power of evil that sow devastation and death. We live this
awareness of the existence of these power of evil, not to fill our hearts with
bitterness and hate, nor with discouragement and complaints, but to renew our
faith in God, master of history "who looks at the depths and examines the
loins", and in Christ who tells us: Don't be afraid. A hair doesn't fall
from your head without your Father's permission who is in heavens". And
we offer our sacrifices and all our sufferings, as contribution, at a time
spiritual and material, for the construction of a new society, founded on
love, everywhere we are, in Palestine, Jordan and Israel.
the Pope John Paul II, we pray and we fast. He took indeed in these days three
December 13, he will convene the bishops of the Holy Land, and with them the
presidents of bishops Conferences of the first world, for one day of
reflection and study, presided by himself, on the peace in the Holy Land,
especially on the situation and future of the Christians.
December 14, he called for a day of fasting in the universal church for peace
in the world. We invite our faithful therefore to observe the fasting in this
day, to add alms and charity to their fasting, and to remember every brother
and sister in the need.
January 24 he invited all religious, Christian, Moslem and Jewish leaders,
from all the religions of the world, for one day of prayer in Assisi, city of
St Francis, the saint of peace and love. He did this to affirm that the
essence of all religion in all society is the faith in God and the love of
God's creatures and that the meeting of believers of all religions is
ask our priests to accompany the faithful in these days, to show them ways of
penitence, prayer and love, and to prepare them thus to welcome Christmas
grace, so that it fills of joy their hearts and their houses, even in the
midst of ruins, hunger and tears on their beloved ones fallen in this long
struggle of our Land for justice and peace.
and Sisters: renew in these days your faith, renew your love. Make penitence
and renew your hope: Welcome the feast with all demonstrations of joy, in
order to find in this joy the strength to continue your long and laborious
march toward the true liberty; and "Praise the name of the Lord for He is
good, his love is everlasting” (Ps 135,1).
Jerusalem, December 1st, 2001