JERUSALEM - On May 31, 2020, clergy and faithful of the Latin Patriarchate celebrated Pentecost Mass at the Dormition Abbey, a stone’s throw from the Holy Place, commemorating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles. In a context of a gradual return to normalcy, after two months of restrictions and confinement, and, while certain restrictions on assemblies are still in force, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate stressed the need to enter into a new perspective, to welcome “a new life” like that which the disciples received on Pentecost through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
As is tradition, the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate celebrated Pentecost Mass at the Abbey of Dormition, a few meters from the Cenacle where the outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place. The ceremony took place this year on Sunday, May 31, 2020, in the presence of only thirty worshipers, the restrictions on gatherings not yet allowing more than 50 people to gather in a covered place. Several bishops and priests of the Latin Patriarchate concelebrated Mass, including Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, Bishop Kamal Bathish, and Fr. Ibrahim Shomali, Chancellor of the Patriarchate.
Several women’s religious congregations were also present, including the German Sisters of Saint-Charles Borromeo, the Dorothean Sisters, the Rosary Sisters, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and the Sisters of Charity.
Archbishop Pizzaballa began his homily by emphasizing the similarity between this day of Pentecost and the reopening of all the churches of the diocese after two months of confinement. He then commented on the passage of the Gospel on Pentecost, evoking “the power of the Holy Spirit that ascends Christ, that overcomes all barriers and that enters the lives of the disciples by transforming them.” He spoke of a “new life” given to the disciples, whose fear had “extinguished every spirit of life.” Continuing his address, Archbishop Pizzaballa drew a parallel between this new life given to the disciples and the new life which awaits the faithful as things gradually return to normalcy. “The meeting of the disciples with the Risen Lord did not bring the disciples back to their previous lives, but plunged them in a completely new perspective,” said the Archbishop, “As Christ had received new life from the Father, so too the disciples received new life through the Spirit. Nothing was the way it used to be.” He, therefore, urged the faithful, and the Church of Jerusalem as a whole, to enter into a new perspective “to let us be conquered by the newness of life that the Spirit continually gives.”