Reflection for the second activity

Going out

We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts. 15, 11)

 

“Dialogue is a path of perseverance that also includes silences and sufferings.”[1]

The basis of the discussion is the “shared passion for the common mission of evangelization and not the representation of conflicting interests.”[2] Of the utmost importance, however, is to recognize that “listening is the first step, but it requires having an open mind and heart, without prejudices.[3]

 

We stand before You, Holy Spirit,
as we gather together in Your name.

With You alone to guide us,
make Yourself at home in our hearts;

Teach us the way we must goand how we are to pursue it.

 

We are weak and sinful;
do not let us promote disorder.

Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path
nor partiality influence our actions.

Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life

and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.

 

All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time,

in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

Go to a neighboring Catholic parish (perhaps a parish from a different language group or rite), or a monastery or religious community). This would ideally be a place which most people have never visited before. For example: the Syrian Catholic church in Jerusalem or Our Lady Woman of Valor church in Tel Aviv or the nuns of the monastery of Lavra Netofa? Go and discover an unknown oasis of the Church’s presence in the Holy Land.

 

On arriving take time to celebrate a simple liturgy of the Word, reading slowly and meditatively the passage about the Council of Jerusalem, when different groups within the Church gathered together and envisioned the Church they were called to become together, Peter (Acts 15:1-20). Paul and Barnabas have come from the mission, Peter and James in Jerusalem and together they try to figure out what it means to be a Christian in their world. Does one have to be circumcised or not? Does one need to follow the Mosaic Law? These apostles chose the way of discernment, prayer and dialogue and came together to see where the spirit was leading them. In the end, they reached a decision that was a sign of the Spirit at work among them for the benefit of others.

 

Invite a person from the parish, monastery or institution you are visiting to give a witness, talking about his or her life, vocation, faith and mission. The person should be someone who can speak clearly about these matters. Leave ample time for questions and exchange with the witness who has been listened to.

  1. How are the different traditions, spiritualities and ways of lifein our Churches integrated together to give an authentic Christian witness in the Holy Land? How do the different communities in the Holy Land work together?

  2. How do we ourselves engage in promoting relations with different communities in the Holy Land?

  3. What experiences of dialogue and shared commitments do we have with believers of other religions and with non-believers?

At the end of the witness of this person, break into discussion groups of ten to twelve people. In each group there should be an animator and someone taking notes so that the fruit of the process can be recorded. These notes will be handed to the facilitator, who will include them within the report that is being composed.

 

At the end of the activity, it is recommended to celebrate the Eucharist of the day, gathering around the Word and participating in the Sacrament.

 

[1]For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. No. 30.VI.

[2] Idem.No. 14.

[3] Idem. No. 30, II.