St Paul Apostle

April 2013 pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Fr Tim writes…..

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The last few days have been pretty full on since arriving in Jerusalem last Tuesday evening. After leaving Emmaus we climbed onto the bus for the last leg up into Jerusalem. Like pilgrims before us over the past three thousand years we too were able to pray one of David’s Psalms together – Psalm 122 ;I was glad when they said to me

Let us go up to the house of the LORD
Jerusalem, our feet are standing
Inside your gates.

Jerusalem is buillt like a city
where everything is close together
The tribes of the Lord go there to praise his name
They do it in keeping with the law he gave to Israel
The thrones of the family line of David are there
That’s where the people are judged

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, Say
May those who love you be secure;

We were able to begin our Jerusalem leg of the pilgrimage with a mass at Bethany on the Mount of Olives where Fr James of the Passionist Community welcomed us warmly. From there it was a day of of being open to seeing the things we’ve read about so often – Mt of Olives, the site of the Temple, the Kidron valley, Bethlehem, Garden of Gethesemane. The Comboni sisters in Bethany showed us hospitalty with a relaxed and homely lunch.

Our journey continues today and the challenge for myself is how do I keep a balance between the hassled tourist with so much to see, to do, and the pilgrim who seeks the presence of the Lord. That very problem experienced by Martha and Mary of Bethany.

May our remaining days in Jerusalem grace us with moments to remember and moments that touch our hearts, and this time continue to enrich our faith and love of the Lord.

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