Like the disciples of Emmaus who, thanks to their charitable insistence, received the gift of seeing Christ risen: “As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. ” (Luke 24,28-29), the pilgrim will also obtain the fruits of his journey only if it is animated by charity.
Charity is revealed first of all as God’s love: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.” (I John 4, 11)
Charity must therefore be put into practice during the journey, helping those in need, sharing food, time and hope.
Charity is also practised in offerings to the poor and in helping invalid pilgrims.
The primitive Christian community had “only heart” and St. Paul helped “the poor of Jerusalem” making a collection for them.
It is only with these attitudes of the soul that the pilgrim will have the chance to meet Christ in the Holy City.
This encounter is the very reason of the journey to Jerusalem, as well as the dream of every Christian. Only this way can we return to the roots of Christian life.
Fr. Artemio Vítores, ofm
Vicary of the Custody of the Holy Land