Wednesday, April 11, 2012




APRIL 5, 2012 ( Here is the text of the homily given today by
Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

Excellencies, dear Brothers and Sisters, dear Pilgrims, and dear faithful who are listening
to us through various communications media,
Happy feast!
Happy feast to you priests, monks, men and women religious, and to all
of you who have dedicated yourselves to the Lord, to all of you who are
nourished by the Eucharist and all who love this great Mystery.
1- “Jesus knew the time had come for him to
leave this world and go to the Father” (Jn13:1)
With these words, the evangelist announced Christ’s entry into his Passion. The liturgy of
this Holy Thursday invites us to recall this journey of Jesus towards his Father.
2- “Do this in memory of me” (1 Cor 11:24)
In today’s second reading, Saint Paul the Apostle recounts to the Corinthians the gestures
and words of Christ as he instituted the Eucharist on the evening of the last
supper in the Cenacle –the consecration of the bread and the wine into his body
and his blood. These gestures, these words, “handed down by tradition,” we
continue to call to mind today in the Church and each time that Mass is
This commemoration of the Holy Sacrifice of Christ echoes a still older
commemoration through which we celebrate the Exodus from Egypt: “This day will be a day of remembrance for
you, which your future generations will celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord;
you will celebrate it as a statute forever.”(Ex 12:14) Indeed, the Jewish
Easter is still celebrated to this day in Jerusalem...

...For us who live in this Holy Land, Christ continues to suffer in the members of his
mystical body: every day we are confronted by the absence of freedom of
movement and peace, frustrations, suffering, and even martyrdom.
These living
conditions wound us in our innermost soul. We hunger and thirst so much for
justice and peace, we dream of leading a simple normal life. We are prisoners
of hate, of mistrust and the fear of men towards one another.
In spite of these conditions, the Lord today asks that we imitate his humbling action
instead of self-exaltation; his humility in place of pride; His pardon in place
of resentment and a much greater love for Him and for our fellow men.
4- “Love one another as I love you.” (Jn
In this antiphon of today’s Gospel, we find the key to the entire Holy Week: Love –
that is the key to the new Easter. For it is a love purified on the wood of the
cross of the ordeals and sufferings that overwhelm us. It is the love of those
who have died to themselves. It is the unconditional love of Him who loved us
first. What Jesus asks is that we should live this love in order to be truly
Through this gesture of washing of the feet that we are going to celebrate, the Lord has
given us a new commandment: “Love one another as I have loved you.”A model that
is hard to imitate yet still harder to live, and yet He invites us to do as He

Together, let us therefore pray to the Lord, that He may sustain us not to flee from this
Cross but to accept it. Let us pray to Mary for the courage to accomplish this
heroic transition to humility and to death with Christ in order to love “as He
has loved us.”
In this way, His Glory will shine in our faces, in this way our way of the Cross-will be
shorter, in this way our Resurrection and that of our people will come
sooner. In this way, Jerusalem, the Holy
City, will discover its aspect of peace and justice: this Holy City, from where
the Mother Church greets all believers as brothers. We shall then be truly the Sons of our

May the Holy Spirit give us the wisdom and strength to be true witnesses of his Love, as we
await the joy of the Resurrection. Amen
+Fouad Twal
Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem

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