Conclusion Palm Sunday 2021
End procession - March 28, 2021
“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.” (Psa. 122,1–2)
Dear brothers and Sisters,
due to the pandemic, for more than a year we have not been able to celebrate the solemn and festive procession on Palm Sunday! Although in a reduced form, this year we were able to celebrate it. But although few, the joy and determination to acclaim Christ as our King and Lord is the same as ever!
We are a small representation, but the whole Church is with us here today: There are the Christians from the various communities of the diocese who have not been able to reach us due to current restrictions, and there are Christians from all over the world who, even if they have not been able to reach us physically, today they are praying with us, with their hearts and minds turned to Jerusalem.
A little while ago we stopped at Dominus Flevit to pray over this Holy City of ours and bless it with the relic of the cross. We will do the same now, at the gates of the city. Let us pray for Jerusalem and let us bless her with the sign of our redemption! It is part of the specific mission of our Church of Jerusalem to pray for this Holy City and to preserve her vocation to be a house of prayer for all peoples, where all are equally citizens, and where every believer finds his own home in it.
We, the Church of Jerusalem, love this city, in which the roots of our Christian identity lie. She represents for each of us the desire for universal reconciliation and peace that God desires for the whole human family. And for this, we want to pray and work, so that this desire and this prophecy can come true. The wounds and divisions that unfortunately still characterize the life of this city of ours must not discourage us. On the contrary, they must push us with ever greater determination to bear witness to the faith in Christ's victory over death, to be, as Church, a sign of unity and reconciliation. We must not doubt this! For those who have faith, the cross is not a sign of defeat and death, but of love, life, reconciliation and forgiveness. For this we bless the city with the cross, so that it may be more and more marked by the love of Christ, and become a place of encounter, respect and mutual acceptance. Nothing therefore frightens us, the continuous obstacles of every day do not stop our charity, no one thinks they are extinguishing our joy as believers in Christ, son of David! Today we here, a small remnant, reaffirm our commitment and our determination to say 'yes' to Christ, and to follow him on the way of the cross and redemption, the way of love and life!
In this Holy Week, which begins today, we will retrace the salient moments of Jesus' passion and death, and we will also join Him with our many passions and deaths, the many crosses that weigh on our shoulders. But we also want to meet Him risen and alive in our midst, and to be witnesses of Him in Jerusalem and throughout the world!
Concluding our procession with singing, prayer and blessing with the relic of the cross, we say once again:
“Lord Jesus, you who with your Holy Cross have redeemed the world, bless us and all the inhabitants of this city of ours, give us a heart capable of loving with your own love and make us worthy witnesses of your resurrection”. Amen.