Under a shy morning sun, a delegation of Franciscans processed to go meet Monsignor William Shomali, auxiliary bishop. at Latin Patriarchate.
Representing the Patriarch, Monsignor Shomali was to preside over the solemn mass of the Second Sunday of Lent, on February 21. After walking through the streets of the Old City to the rhythm of kawas, he was greeted at the stone of unction by the Franciscan sanctuary's superior.
The mass, which was celebrated by Br. Sergio Galdi, Secretary of the Custody, took place at the altar of Mary Magdalene. According to the Status Quo, this mass is a sort of weekly Lenten retreat for the bishop. So, Br. Sebastian Matti, OFM, said the homily. Faced with the current wars and persecution of Christians in the Middle East, he recalled the words of Christ: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).
Commenting on the importance of Lent, he stressed that “the path of penance and reconciliation, in order to reach the Father's heart, is narrow. But it only leads us to the safe haven, like a ship that is guided amid the waves of the storm.”
On Sundays during Lent, the Franciscans and the Latin Church of the city continue their solemn journey towards Easter at the same place where the Passion and Resurrection took place.