PALESTINE – On the occasion of the feast of Christ the King, the Youth of Jesus’ Homeland organized meetings and activities for children, teenagers and young adults.
The first meeting, entitled "Palace of the King", took place in Aboud, and targeted more than 250 young children, all coming from various parishes of the diocese. After being divided into groups, the children enjoyed activities revolving around the Old and New Testaments, which concluded on the theme of the Kingship of Jesus Christ, to teach about how He is close to us and present in our lives. The meeting ended with a Mass presided over by Fr. Amer Awad, and was followed by a time where the children decorated the place to express their love for Jesus.
The second meeting, which took place in Ramallah, was for middle-schoolers, and saw the participation of around 235 boys and girls. After the children were given cards – each bearing a different verse about love – they were divided into teams, and had to choose a name for each team. Then they participated in four different activities, which focused on the importance of embodying, developing and transmitting love to others, despite the obstacles that prevent them from doing so. Afterward, they celebrated Mass with Fr. Amed Awad and a group of priests from different parishes. The celebration was followed by a play focusing on inner conflict, which concluded on each child receiving a certificate attesting of their willingness to follow Jesus, the King of Kings.
The third meeting, which also took place in Ramallah, was attended by about 400 young people in high school. They were also split into teams and given cards, each bearing this time the name of a football team participating in this year's World Cup, before they enjoyed many different activities. They celebrated Mass as well, presided over by Fr. Raphael Tim, priest of the parish of St. Ba'qub in Beit Hanina (Jerusalem), who stressed in his homily the importance of patience and faith in Jesus the King, who will prepare for us the Kingdom to come.
During the afternoon, the youth went to the Ramallah Cultural Center to enjoy a theater play entitled “Score in the Kingdom’s goals”, and to watch a video prepared by the committee in charge of all the activities of the high-schoolers. At the end of the day, they also enjoyed a musical performance played by a band from Aboud.
Finally, the fourth meeting, entitled “On the King’s path”, lasted for two days and was celebrated by 300 young young men and women from different parishes of the diocese. It started in the Notre Dame Center of Jerusalem, with the youth singing hymns. They then received the South African singer Nomcebo Zikode and her band, who sang and danced to the singer’s famous song “Jerusalema”, in which the singer expresses her relationship with the Holy city, exclaiming “Jerusalem is my home”. Then, she shared the story and meaning behind the song, and encouraged the Youth of Jesus Homeland to be always grateful for living in the coutry that saw Jesus' birth.
Afterward, in a fun and joyful atmosphere, the youth participated in a candlelight procession to the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, followed by an hour of adoration of the Eucharist.
After a night spent in different monasteries in Jerusalem, they then continued their “walk with Christ the King” the next day, by walking together through the streets of Jerusalem and visiting multiple holy sights, especially on the Mount of Olives: Bethphage, the Pater Noster church, the Church of Dominus Flevit, and Gethsemane.
They finished their walk by celebrating a Mass presided over by his Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at the Pro-cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, ending with the General Secretariat of the YJHP's renewal of vows.
The meeting concluded with a spiritual lecture given by Fr. Iyad Twal, which focused on the discovery of one's identity and purpose through Jesus Christ the King, at the Collège des Frères in the old city of Jerusalem.