Thursday, May 29, 2014
Even though it's the Pope's actions that triggered a lot of attention, in his trip to the Holy Land, his speeches were also powerful. Starting with the invitation he made to the president of Israel and of Palestine.
1. "In this site, where the Prince of Peace was born, I would like to invite you, President Mahmud Abbas, and President Shimon Peres, to come together and join me in intense prayer and asking God for the gift of peace. I offer my home at the Vatican to host this meeting of prayer.”
2. "Never again, Lord, never again!'Adam, where are you?' Here we are Lord, shamed by what mankind, created in Your own image and likeness, is capable of doing. Remember us in Your mercy.”
3. "These are roots of all evil, hatred and greed, for money, for the construction and for the sale of weapons. This should make us all think, who is behind it all? Who is it that gives everyone the weapons to prolong conflicts? Let us, in our hearts, pray for these poor people-the criminals, so that they may have a change of heart.”
He greeted several children, who will become the future of the Middle East. The Pope encouraged them to move forward and look ahead with hope. He also denounced violence against children.
4. "Don't allow the past to determine your lives. Always look forward. Fight for what you want. You must understand that violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace; and peace comes with hard work, dignity and in moving your homeland forward.”
5. "Still too many children live in exile, as refugees, at times lost at sea, particularly in the waters of the Mediterranean. Today, as we acknowledge this, we are ashamed before God, before God who became a child. Are we perhaps people who use fine and pious words, yet exploit pictures of poor children in order to make money? Are we ready to be there for children, to "waste time” with them? Are we ready to listen to them, to care for them, to pray for them and with them? Or do we ignore them because we are too caught up in our own affairs?”
After 10 centuries of silence and division between Rome and the Orthodox Church, the leaders of both Churches embraced 50 years ago. Pope Francis and Bartholomew did the same to mark the anniversary.
6. "We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so too every obstacle to our full communion will also be removed.”
For the first time, they prayed the 'Lord's Prayer' together, in public.
The three major monotheistic religions have a presence in the Holy Land, so the Pope highlighted the need to strengthen the fraternity among Muslims, Jews and Christians.
8. "May we respect and love one another as brothers and sisters! May we learn to understand the sufferings of others! May no one abuse the name of God through violence! May we work together for justice and peace! Salaam!”
9. "It is a bond whose origins are from on high, one which transcends our own plans and projects, and one which remains intact despite all the difficulties which, sadly, have marked our relationship in the past.”
As one of the many symbols of this trip, there's this image of the Pope embracing his two good friends from Argentina: one Muslim and one Jew, before the Wailing Wall, where they said 'We did it.”