'Why Gaza holds a special place in my heart'

By Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly

One example of the humour of God is the way the Spirit has expected me to accept responsibilities demanding long journeys by plane. My carbon footprint is a disgrace. And I am almost pathological about flying.

Yet it is also strange how some places claim a generous space in memory, mind and heart. Latin America did that to me. It's as if you never quite return home. And Gaza, the Gaza described by Mark, abides in the centre of my life. The reason is very specific: every line that Mark shares makes me thank God who has blessed me and will bless everyone with hearts open to the challenge, the judgement, the inspiration encountered in the joy and the creativity of our sisters and brothers of the Holy Family Parish in Gaza.

Pope Francis insists that to become wise, to become graciously selfless, to find the secret of creative loving, our teachers are the very people whom we seek to nourish in body, mind and spirit. And since God listens to the cry, the wisdom of the poor, we had better do the same.