After a difficult year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to countless deaths, crises in relationships, economic problems that have spared no one, the so-called 'liquidity' of time brings us into a new year, 2021, full of expectations and hopes. We have all been led to reflect on the essential things in life and on giving meaning to what truly matters: identity with oneself and with God, relationships with society, the poor, the environment, the diverse - even culturally and religiously speaking - our future.
And it is not different for us, Dames and Knights of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Our commitment to the Holy Land, despite the general crisis, has not diminished, rather it has been strengthened in line with the responsibility that we take to heart and which does us honour. Although unable to go on pilgrimages, to meet together, participate or organise fruitful initiatives, our formative work did not fail and indeed our generosity was strengthened.
We have a new Statute as an organizational reference point; further development in our spirituality; future plans in the making for adequate Regulations and Liturgical Rites, as well as the ongoing reflections on the introduction of young people into the Order. Moreover, we are carrying out a careful evaluation on how to offer affective, spiritual and associative adhesion to men and women religious who have special sensitivity for the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Land, without mentioning the many projects for the support of Christian communities in the Land of Jesus. We are also attentive to situations of urgent need humanitarian so that our sense of charity is inclusive.
2021 therefore opens with renewed trust in God, knowing full well that everything is a Blessing. So let us welcome, in this vision, and extend to everyone the Blessing of the Most High in the same way in which Moses extended it to the People of God:
« The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace» (Nm 6, 24-26).
I believe this to be the best greeting that we can give to one another for every day of the new year, and it is in this sense that I wish you all a happy 2021!
Fernando Cardinal Filoni