Following Jesus: Holy Week reminds us to protect the Holy Land Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Apr. 05, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

Editor's View by Mary C. Uhler

Starting with Palm Sunday, Catholics are following in the footsteps of Jesus during the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter with the wonderful Scripture readings recounting the Passion, death, and Resurrection.

We read in all four Gospels that Jesus experienced a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He rode on a donkey, which traditionally meant he arrived in peace (those with more war-like purposes were said to ride on a horse).

Jesus took part in the Passover meal, which was to be his last supper with his friends. Happiness turned to sadness as Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples, Judas, and other disciples did not stand by his side as he suffered through his trial, scourging, and death on the cross.

United with people in the Holy Land

As we relive the events of Jesus’ life, we can visualize the places where they took place. We are united in a special way with the people living in the Holy Land, both past and present.

The Franciscans and others in the Holy Land today are working to protect the holy places where Jesus lived. They are also helping support Christians living in the Holy Land, many of whom are suffering from conflict and economic hardships.

Good Friday collection

We can certainly pray for the people living in the Holy Land. We can also help by giving a monetary donation to the annual Good Friday Holy Land Collection. This collection is the primary means of support for the work of the Holy Land Franciscans, who have been entrusted with the care of the holy places. This is a pontifical collection, mandated by Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessors.

A report of the Commissariat of the Holy Land reveals that it carries out its pastoral ministry in 29 parishes, among them the three largest parishes located in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth. The custody also supports numerous shrines, chapels, and oratories.

It provides spiritual direction and counseling to both residents and pilgrims. The custody also cares for the poorest people in the Holy Land — both Christians and non-Christians — through its work of housing, schools, and social services.

Please protect the places where Jesus lived and walked by contributing to the Good Friday collection.

On behalf of the entire Catholic Herald staff, I wish everyone a blessed Holy Week and most happy Easter!