The Holy Father, in his Regina Caeli address from the Vatican yesterday, made some interesting comments on the Holy Land which I would like to share with you. There is no official English translation, so here is mine from the Italian original. If you can read la bellissima lingua, log on to the the vatican website, www.vatican.va and click on the link for the “Sala Stampa” and read for yourselves.
“…The Holy Land has been called a ‘Fifth Gospel’, because here we can see, even touch, the reality and history that God made with men…. Yes, God entered this land, moved among us in it. But we can say more: the Holy Land, because of its own history can be considered a microcosym that takes up into itself the laborious walk of God among humanity. A walk that because of sin includes the Cross, but always with the abundance of divine love and the joy of the Holy Spirit. The Resurrection, though already begun, is also a walk among the valley of our suffering toward the Reign of God. A reign not of this world, but in this world; a reign that must penetrate with the force of justice and peace….. To fear God and to practice justice so as to learn this fear of God and to open the world to the Reign of God — this is the most profound aim of all interreligious dialogue.”
It seems the pope is making some theological points about the political and religious realities afflicting the the Holy Land in the past sixty years. Even today, the Holy Land is a living example of the presence of God, the presence of intolerance among various peoples, and examples of “the Cross”.
If we believe that the poor are the face of Jesus Christ among us, then truly Christ dies again in the lives of so many Palestinian and Jewish men, women and children in Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and the various other places that marked the lived presence of Jesus in the flesh over two thousand years ago.
The aim of all interreligious dialogue is the open the world to the Reign of God through the practice of justice and the worship the God whom we all seek.
Good words for us to remember.