· Vatican City ·

The Resurrection starts again in Gaza

Altar boys take part in a Good Friday mass at the Holy Family church in the Al-Zaytoun neighbourhood ...
30 March 2024

Jerusalem. Three days after the slaughter. Calvary remains a place of tragedy: crosses, hammers, nails, ropes. The morning dew covers the flowers of the field that grow among the rocks. Silence. Broken stones. Infinite solitude. It seems that everything is over. That is the place where God “left” the Earth, though he never abandoned it. The Holy Soul of the Redeemer detached itself from his Body precisely there, on Calvary, on that day of darkness, around three in the afternoon. Three days passed after that tragedy… and yet, extremely nearby… is the Place of Humanity’s real new beginning: Christ’s Tomb. Yes, but the tomb is already empty! He emerged from it alive, he was resurrected, and there, he will never return.

As for Gaza’s Calvary, it remains a tragedy even today: so many dead! Wounded, sick, hungry, people abandoned to their fate, hostages and prisoners, loneliness and depression. Only the morning dew on some blades of grass and flowers, the few plants that remain, indicate that spring has arrived.

Spring is here. And yet we cannot cover the sun with our hands. And pretend, imagine that the situation in Gaza is going well. No, things are bad, very bad, terribly bad! But neither can we, as believers in the Risen Lord, cover that other Sun, which is Jesus Christ back from the dead.

Thanks to the Easter celebrations, we know that the risen Christ has returned to Gaza. And He was welcomed today by most of our brothers and sisters in the faith in holy Communion. But we also believe that, through the grace of His coming, He fills and illuminates every righteous soul.

It may be that many have not yet heard of the plan of God’s Love revealed in Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, Son of God and son of David, Virgin of the Virgin, but that does not mean that they cannot participate mysteriously in the grace of Easter. Saint Paul teaches us that anyone born without the Law will be judged without the Law. That being the case, it is up to Him to judge and look at each individual human being, including each of us. We know that He loves those who seek him out with sincere hearts, and I am sure that in the depths of their spirit, the majority of these blessed people in these lands do not want this war. They do not want it. On the contrary, they detest it.

From Gaza, from those tombs, many many people await the day of the final resurrection. But we, who many times have seen entire peoples be reborn from the ashes, can go so far as to think that the resurrection will start again from there. Perhaps it will take a while longer, unfortunately. But God, because he is Just, will not abandon those poor people on Calvary. Sooner or later, a new, human light of hope will arrive, limited yes, but at the same time, a sign and opportunity for everyone to believe in Him, to wait for Him and love Him.

With a heart filled with the joy of the Resurrection, and although in the midst of suffering, our Catholic community in Gaza wishes you a happy Easter and thanks you for your many prayers and help.

By Gabriel Romanelli, IVE
Parish priest in Gaza