Participants in the service included Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as well as representatives from Christians Together in Malta (Malta Ecumenical Council), and from the University of Bologna.
In his message, Rev. Luca Maria Negro, a Baptist minister and president of the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy, reflected on how Jesus, after he visits the city of Capernaum, healing the sick, quite decisively moves on to other, more isolated places.
“So let us go elsewhere, to the neighboring towns or, better, to the neighboring villages,” urged Negro. “The mission of Jesus implies a movement from the city centre, from downtown to the suburbs, to the most isolated places.”
Negro suggested that we go and preach and heal on the borders of society. “But this invitation has also a spiritual dimension,” continued Negro. Jesus went out, and the disciples had to hunt for him: such is, today again, the condition of the disciples of Jesus.
“Somehow this movement of ‘going on’ is the continuation, the extension of the early departure of Jesus from Capernaum, looking for a ‘deserted place.’ ”