What does the Great Jubilee in Jerusalem mean for the Catholics of the Holy land?
By Fr. Labib Kobti
For us, people of the MIDDLE EAST and the FIRST CHURCH in the world, JERUSALEM is the MOTHER CHURCH, the Jubilee represent for us a very important OCCASION:
1- We want that the Catholic and Christian world discover that the JULILAEUM is not only the celebration of archeological sites or the JESUS in History or the HISTORY of our Redemption but ESPECILALLY the continuous presence of the Christians in JERSALEM and the MIDDLE EAST.
Those Christians who lived there and are living there despite of the challenges of 2000 years of wars, discriminations, persecutions are YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS.WE DO REPRESENT THE WHOLE CHURCH in the one Catholic Apostolic Church
2- It is then a need that the world discover that the ARABS are not the MUSLIMS, they are the first Christians as the book of the Acts say on the day of Pentecost: Acts 2:11 "Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own languages...". Our Arab regions where the place of refugee of St. Paul, where he discovered his mission as the Apostle of the Gentiles as he mentions in the Acts and in his letters.
3-After more than 600 years of Christianity in the Middle East and North Africa, Islam came to our regions. We are then those people who did not convert to Islam.
We are these people who lived in harmony with their Arab brothers and sisters the Muslims for more than 1400 years. We are also these people who try to live in harmony with the Jews.
4- The first Fathers of the Church were from our Regions or were living in our Regions like St Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Jerome, St. Justin, St. Cyril of Aleaxndia, St. Augustin of Cathage etc.
5- For us the Jubilee is an Occasion where the whole world should discover, love and stand with their BROTHERS and SISTERS in the Middle East and ESPECIALLY WITH the CHURCH OF JERUSALEM who should be your ONLY SOURCE OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE SITUATION IN THE HOLY LAND WHERE THE GREAT JUBILLE WILL BE CELBRATED, and not the CNN or NewYork Times or other NEWS agencies...Stand then with TRUTH, JUSTICE and PEACE in the region.
6- The History of our REDEMPTION would only survive if the PRESENCE of ARAB PALESTINIAN CHRISTIANS will REMAIN A VISIBLE PRESENCE IN THE HOLY LAND AND THE MIIDLE EAST. Stand then with your BROTHERS AND SISTERS, the Chrisatians of the Holy Land and the Middle East. When you come to the Holy Land during the Holy Year 2000 try to contact a parish, community, congreagation, stay, pray and visit with them.
Try to contact us if you need any help.
Fr. Labib Kobti (LabibKobti@aol.com)
Visit our website at: http://www.al-bushra.org