Peace Sunday 19 January 2020: Peace as a Journey of Hope
O God of peace, who are peace itself and whom a spirit of discord cannot grasp, nor a violent mind receive,
grant that those who are one in heart may persevere in what is good and that those in conflict may forget evil and so be healed.
Bishops (including Bishop Declan Lang ) from across Europe and North America are meeting in the Holy Land over the coming days to promote dialogue and peace, with a pastoral focus on Christians in Gaza, East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
This annual visit was set up over 20 years ago at the invitation of the Holy See with the aim of visiting and supporting the Holy Land’s local Christian communities as they experience the political and socio-economic realities of living in Israel and Palestine.
The bishops will be based in Ramallah with an overnight visit to Gaza. This year the HLC20 has celebrated Sunday Mass on 12 January with the small Christian community in Gaza. This Christmas, the Israeli government prevented Gazan Christians from visiting Bethlehem or families and relatives in the West Bank so the bishops were determined to go to Gaza and remind the small Christian community that they are not forgotten as Christians from the bishops’ home countries continue to pray for all Gazans and for an end to the conflict. This visible act of solidarity will be followed by a visit to the House of Peace run by the Missionaries of Charity; meetings with young people, visits to Christian parishioners and a pastoral visit to the sick in the community.
The bishops will also meet with young people in both Jerusalem and Ramallah to listen to their hopes and experiences as they grow up in this divided society. Archbishop Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator to the Latin Patriarchate, and Nuncio Archbishop Girelli will meet with the bishops to discuss the current situation.
In addition to planned meetings with Palestinian and Israeli officials, there will also be visits to East Jerusalem and the Comboni sisters in Bethany, as well as the school and parish in Ramallah.
In his World Peace Day message for 2020, Pope Francis speaks wise words challenging us to dialogue and renewed relationships of reconciliation, communal solidarity and hope in the future.
He reminds the world that “peace and international stability are incompatible with attempts to build upon the fear of mutual destruction or the threat of total annihilation.”Click here for the full text.
Message from Bishop William Nolan for Day of Prayer For Peace 2020.