(This is an adapted version of the text I used at Pilgrim Uniting Church in the prayers for others in the service on Pentecost Sunday)
On the day of Pentecost, we are told that Jews from many different places – a symbol for the whole world at the time – had gathered for the Festival of Shavuot. The word Pentecost means fifty. The number fifty points to fullness, to ripeness, to a time that is ready for something to happen.
|President Abbas & President Peres|
|Bishop Munib Younan|
What the Pope has done is very symbolic, and unprecedented. One religious leader (Bishop Munib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land, and President of the Lutheran World Federation) expressed it this way, ‘We have a role to teach our people: to love the neighbour, so that Israelis will see the image of God in me, a Palestinian, and that I will see the image of God in the Israeli’.
Following the prayers, the Pope and the two Presidents, planted an olive tree in a symbolic call for peace. The Vatican called the event 'a pause from politics', and affirmed that not everything is decided by politics alone.
Let us offer our own prayers for peace. A silence is held for silent prayers.