JERUSALEM - On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem organized the annual spiritual retreat for its employees, in preparation for Lent.
The event started with Ash Wednesday Mass held at the Co-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate, where Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem and Palestine, presided over the service. His Excellency started by welcoming the faithful, emphasizing the importance of Lent as means of spiritual preparation to accept the Resurrection of Christ. He referred to the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, adopted by Pope Francis as a message to the faithful this year, which is the year of reconciliation with God, the others and oneself. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” the bishop said.
Bishop Marcuzzo added that reconciliation requires us to avoid sin, by listening to each other, seeking forgiveness for our sins and sharing our blessings with the others, because Lent should first be spiritual.
After Mass, the employees headed to the Rosary Sisters Mamilla Monastery, where the spiritual retreat’s program began. Together they prayed the Rosary before meeting with Fr. Davide Meli who gave a lecture entitled “Penance in Christian Life: A New Life”.
During this meeting, Fr. Davide spoke of the importance of the Sacrament of Penance, in preparation to be transformed into new humans, opening our hearts to Christ. “We as Christians are not infallible, but what makes us good christians is recognizing our sins and working on rectifying them through penance, reconciliation and patience,” he said.
The faithful then read different Bible passages about penance and discussed them.
The meeting was followed by a Eucharistic Adoration in the Rosary Sisters Church, before concluding with a participatory spiritual meeting among the employees, which was supervised by Deacon Firas AbedRabbo, under the theme “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect: Living Christian Wholeness in Our Christian Institutions, Combining Professionalism and Sanctity”.
In this meeting, the employees discussed the nature of their work in a Christian institution and the spiritual advantages that follow, in a spirit of christian sanctity in the fulfilment of their duties, along with the spiritual challenges that follow and ways to overcome them.