Statement of Rev. Fr. Nelson Viola, Ecclesiastical Advisor
CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS - Delegation Member & Pentecost Representative

May 19, 2002


A NEW OPPORTUNITY

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Gathered together in prayer on this day of Pentecost and here in the Holy City of Jerusalem in these hours of conflict and violence in the Holy Land, in the name of the confederation of CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS - we would like to launch an appeal and offer a prayer for peace & solidarity amongst all human beings here and throughout the entire world.

We affirm, in the words of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II - with absolute conviction that peace is always and everywhere possible, if we are disposed to acknowledge in every human being, above all - a brother and a sister. With all the same assurance we declare that all of us can contribute to making
peace if, within the limits of our responsibilities, we are to create communities based on justice and solidarity - because we are fully convinced that there is no peace without justice, just as there is no justice without love and forgiveness. The pillars of true peace are justice and that form of love which is forgiveness.

NOW - what can we do for peace? What can we do as men and women of good will who accept these ideas? What are we doing here, as well as everywhere? We propose the following objectives:

+  No more egoism but rather some altruism, that is, no more selfishness but rather unselfishness.
+  No more to be concerned only with what is mine, but also much more with
that which is ours.
+  No more to be preoccupied with that which is ours, but also, a little more with that which is yours.
+  No more defending only what is ours and yours, but why not also a little more with what belongs to others because we want to be in solidarity with others; we love peace - precisely because we desire a worthy, just and durable peace for everyone.

If we truly want to do something for peace, it seems fitting for us to think in a different manner, in a new way, realizing a new opportunity. When we think of ourselves, we think of also of the others!
+ If I don't want to suffer insecurity, nor do the others.
+ If I don't like to be hungry, nor do the others.
+ If I am tired, so also are the others.
+ If I am in need of something, so are the others.

Everyone has something in common with all the others, such as human rights, vital needs, friendship, suffering and fear. How many things we have in common with each other - the cold, weariness, weeping, the sun and the rain!

We suffer the same bad things and enjoy the same good things! We endure the same sicknesses and rejoice for the same motives!

To create peace, sometimes we have to think of giving instead of receiving, of suffering and not seeking help, of listening and not speaking, of opening and not being closed, of believing and waiting without distrust!

To create peace, sometimes we have to think that the bad things that others do, we also do - just as the good things we do, the others also do!

In order to pursue peace and participate in its purposes, we must always try to see, in order to acknowledge - to listen in order to understand - to love in order not to hate.
In this way, we have done something for peace, something for all who are tired of suffering, for all those who are poor and sad today, for all those who live in danger - so that a new hope and joy may return to their hearts!

We have to be renewed in the spirit of our minds and put on the new man created in God's way in righteousness and holiness of truth(Ephesians 4:24.)

What are we doing for peace now? No more violence in our life and heart! What then?

Let us have faith like a small mustard seed which can move mountains! "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" (Matthew 17:20)

Let us have hope, confidence in God so we can anticipate this time of His coming...
Let us love one another as He loves us! The Lord is here, present in our hearts - and He will not leave us alone.

"Merciful Father, let, at least, your Church gathered here by the Holy Spirit, serve you with full dedication and form in You only one heart and one mind, so that it may be a sign and instrument of peace united in one love to pacify all beings of the earth."
Amen.

Feast of Pentecost, Sunday, May 19, 2002
Hagia Maria Sion(Dormition)Abbey, Mt. Zion
Jerusalem, The Holy Land