16 March 2017

Love is not loved

The first Lenten pilgrimage led by the friars of the Custody brought together the faithful on the Mount of Olives, the Dominus Flevit, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem.

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During Lent, in preparation for the Holy Week, the Franciscans of the Custody enliven the weekly pilgrimages to the shrines linked to the Passion of Jesus.

A tradition dating back to the late nineteenth century. The first meeting was held Wednesday, March 15 on the Mount of Olives, in the Dominus Flevit Church, the place from which one can admire the Holy City in all its glory and in the commemoration of Jesus' tears over it.

"At that time, when Jesus was near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying:

Pilgrims and local Christians attended the Eucharistic celebration, preceded by the solemn vespers. The Mass was presided by Brother Stéphane Milovitch, Head of the Cultural Heritage of the Custody of the Holy Land, and by about ten other concelebrating priests. The first meditation of the Lenten pilgrimage was made by Fr. Matteo Munari, a professor at the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum in Jerusalem.

"Love is not loved" is the central theme of the reflection.

Professor Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem
"Jesus cried here, in this his last pilgrimage to Jerusalem, because he predicted and prophesied the destruction of the city, because Jerusalem had not recognized, at the time of Jesus' visitation, the peace that God brought through His Son Jesus. "

Father Munari also recalled St. Francis and his declaration of love to Jesus.

Professor Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem
"Francis learned about the Lord's immense love for humanity and heard the voice of the Crucifix in the little church of San Damian, discovering how great is God's love for humanity, but how significant is the rejection of God by humanity. He realized that Love is not loved and that once again Love is betrayed and rejected. Francis, therefore, began to meditate about the passion of the Lord Jesus in his heart."

Professor Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem
"Meditating on the Passion of Jesus enkindled in Francis the desire to live every page of the Gospel to the fullest, and also led the Franciscan friars into the Portiuncula in Santa Maria degli Angeli, where they were inspired with the decision to come here to the Middle East and to the Holy Land, to now be able to contemplate and see how great is God's love for us, in these places."