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Patriarch Fouad of Jerusalem: Annunciation homily
It is beautiful that we meet this year in Nazareth on the feast of Annunciation, near this place which witnessed the visit of the angel to the Virgin Mary. With all love and gratitude I greet you all, old and young, with the tenderness of Christ, the Virgin Mary and St Joseph.
As I carry in the Latin Patriarchate the responsibility of "the mother of all churches", I am reminded of the memory of the Annunciation, when "God sent the angel Gabriel to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, from the House of David, and the name of the Virgin was Mary." Here in this city, it occurred and has become a reality. Hence, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to be present together.
In this city occurred the greatest miracle of the incarnation of the Word. In this city, God became one of us, He lived among us, just like us in everything except sin. Jesus is not a human that we raise to the level of God but He is the Incarnated God who never lost His nature as God.
"The incarnation of the word" means that God is close to us, God loves us and for us He came to our land to bless it and to give us life, blessings and salvation, in order for us to move forward in the path of faith, hope and love.
Yes, we ask God to keep this city a place for faith and not for indifference and materialistic interests. We thank the Lord Jesus Christ for the blessing of your attachment to him and to his mother, defending our Christian symbols from humiliation, ridicule and disdain. I personally thank God for the faith and for your affiliation, and I ask God, who began to work in you, to continue to do so.
Christ came to Nazareth, and the other cities, and blessed us and therefore we must be worthy of this blessing and convey the True Faith to the younger generations to follow the Christ who came with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth and was obedient to them, when growing in age, wisdom and grace. This is what we wish for our young men and women: to come forward in knowledge, virtue, piety and fear of God, as they receive our complete appreciation and love.
This is part of a homily for the feast of the Annunciation by His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 2 (March 2011), p. 2
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