Jerusalem, January 24, 2022
To all the priests and faithful of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
“I delight in following your commands” (cf. Ps 119:14)
With a heart full of gratitude, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of you who joined in large numbers, in the reading of the New Testament on the Sunday dedicated to the Word of God.
I was pleasantly surprised and comforted in finding God’s grace in the abundant and generous response of so many: parishes, parish priests, families, religious orders and institutes, communities of lay people and individual faithful (some joined our reading from other countries, even as far as Argentina). There were hundreds of families who spontaneously joined the initiative. I was also pleased that the priests joined as a group, as well as with their parishes.
Your generous response commits all of us, beginning with me - together with the entire Church of Jerusalem - not to allow the grace of this day to disappear, but rather to seek ways so that it can bear abundant fruit as we persevere in listening to the Word of God, in understanding it and in the help and consolation that it gives us for our life: “Everything written in the Scriptures … was written to teach us, in order that we might have hope through the patience and encouragement which the Scriptures give us.” (cf. Romans 15:4).
We will have to find ways and means to continue to grow in love with the Word of God, which sustains us and nourishes our life of faith, together with the celebration of the sacraments so as not to end this moment as a beautiful experience only. We will pray and reflect on this unanimous response in the coming weeks.
I consider this event as an essential contribution to the diocesan phase of the Synod that we have begun, and which I hope will continue to bear many more types of fruit.
I invoke the abundant blessing of God and of His Word upon all of us.
+ Pierbattista Pizzaballa
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem