Service for Unity,
Thursday, December,16th, 2021


Listening and dialogue: paths of humanity

Listening is accepting to move forward on the path where the other calls us and offers us to meet him. Listening supposes being silent, enduring silence and contradiction, allowing time for speech to become clearer. Speech is afraid of silence. There is often a void, an absence, a dead silence. And yet what would speech be without silence, what would become of the musical notes that play with silences? Without silence, the word becomes chatter, while it is the word of life. If the human being resolved to turn his tongue seven times in his mouth before speaking, there would be less empty talk but a lot more dialogue. As Madeleine Delbrêl said: “When we love each other, we like to be together, and when we are together, we like to talk to each other. When we love each other, we like to listen to the other all alone, without other voices that disturb us. The danger that always awaits us is to lock the other into ready-made categories. We know in advance what he is going to say well before he speaks. Bernard Shaw said with his own humor: “the smartest man I know is my tailor. Every time he meets me, he takes my measurements again, while the others have measured me once and for all. Listening to someone is accepting to rediscover them anew every time.

Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger, The Way to Nazareth, a daily spirituality, Desclée de Brouwer, 2002, pp. 59-60


Prepared by our brothers and sisters in Jerusalem in the Holy Land.

To be used as appropriate

1 / During his speech at the Maronite Cathedral of Nicosia in Cyprus on December 2, 2021, Pope Francis invited us to fraternity by saying: “We need to welcome and integrate ourselves, to walk together and to be brothers and sisters of all. This is also what the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Bishop Pizzaballa exhorted the various Churches of the Holy Land within the framework of the Synod.
Lord, we entrust to you the Church of the Holy Land in all its diversity: Arabic-speaking Latin parishes, Melkites, Maronites, Syrians, Armenians, but also Hebrew and migrant communities, religious communities and institutions. May the Church grow in mutual knowledge to move forward together and become one body.

2. Around the feast of Christ the King, 700 young people from Cis-Jordan, Galilee and Jerusalem gathered in Bethlehem for an annual meeting. The secretary general of a group of young people participating in this meeting reminded the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem that “Young people are the hope, the present and the future, and we do not want to be the last generation of Christians in the homeland. of Jesus.”
Lord, we entrust the young people of the Middle East to you. We pray for them that they can be rooted in hope and be creative in responding to the challenges of today.

3. With the resumption of the pandemic, Israel has once again decided to close its borders to tourists and pilgrims.
Lord, we thank you for all the initiatives that make it possible to continue making the Holy Land accessible through the internet and social networks and we pray that this Earth may continue its mission of welcoming believers from all walks of life.