In preparation for the upcoming World Youth Day in Lisbon 2023, where the youth will meet with H.H Pope Francis from 1st till the 6th of August, the youth of the Holy Land held a celebratory Mass in both the region of Palestine and Galilea. On Saturday, July 22nd, 2023, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem celebrated the Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Beit Jala. It was concelebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Américo Manuel ALVES AGUIAR, Auxiliary Bishop of Lisbon, and President of the WYD foundation. Bishop Manuel was as well elected with His Beatitude as a new Cardinal for the Catholic Church.
In his homily, the Patriarch shared the great number of youth participants from our diocese. He said, “It is a sign for the vitality of our parish life”. And commenting on the Gospel reading – Mt. 13:24-43, Mgr Pizzaballa encouraged the youth to not focus on the bad fruit (Weed), but rather on the good fruit (Wheat). “You need to be the good wheat, which bears much fruit by spending your time doing good deeds. This is how the Kingdom of God will manifest itself on the earth, and especially here in the Holy Land,” he ended.
While on Sunday, July 23rd, 2023, Mgr Rafiq Nahra, Patriarchal Vicar in Israel, celebrated a Mass for the youth residing in Galilea, at St. Joseph Church in Shafa’amer. Also, the Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Manuel.
During his homily, Mgr Manuel expressed his great joy upon his visit to the Holy Land pre WYD, and his meeting with the youth. “This comes upon the request and desire of H.H Pope Francis to be close to the youth of the Church, especially, to those will not be able to participate this year, which includes the Youth in Ukraine”. He also highlighted the importance of the participation of the youth of the Holy Land, “the Land of Jesus, and where Our faith began”. He ended by asking them to raise their prayers for the preparations being made for the WYD for it to bear much fruit in the lives of the participants.
By: Miral Atik and Natalie Matar | lpj.org