27 December 2014

Greetings from the Holy Land!

After Mass with Father Dan Good.

Standing beside the Sea of Galilee this evening in the city of Tiberias, I proclaimed the passage of Saint John’s Gospel in which he relates the events of Easter morning:

So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed (John 20:3-8).

As I’ve mentioned several times before, this “cloth that had covered his head” is the Veil of Manoppello, the Holy Face. Very soon, I will stand in that very tomb and offer the Holy Mass on the very stone on which the body of Our Lord was placed and will seek to experience the wonder of those two Apostles.

I have come now to the Holy Land to fulfill one of my duties as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre to support the Christians of the land where the Lord himself walked. I have also come on pilgrimage to visit the places made holy by the Lord, to follow in his footsteps, and to grow in faith, hope, and love.

My guide for the next several days will be Steve Ray, the Catholic convert whom you have likely read in apologetic works, heard on Catholic Answers Live, or seen on EWTN. There are, I think, 25 pilgrims travelling with Steve on his Footprints of God pilgrimage. I am very excited to see Steve’s enthusiasm and to learn from him as he expounds the Scriptures for us in the very places where so much of Biblical history occurred.

Since I was already in Rome, it was decided that it would be best if I would simply would meet the group in Tel Aviv, but since my flight was scheduled to arrive 30 minutes after everyone else there was some question as to whether I would have to have then make my own way to Tiberias rather than holding up the rest of the group. You can imagine my concern then when my flight out of Rome left 45 minutes behind schedule. Somehow, though, my flight still managed to arrive 5 minutes ahead of the original schedule and I cleared customs before anyone else on the pilgrimage. 

Today we simply drove from Tel Aviv to Tiberias, where we had dinner and then celebrated Mass. Most of the pilgrims have already gone to bed and I will do so shortly. I'll be blogging my pilgrimage as much as possible (the Wi-Fi at the hotel seems a bit spotty).

The other pilgrims have made a very long flight from New York; I, on the other hand, made a rather short flight of about 2 1/2 hours from Rome and only went forward one time zone. Consequently, I think I may be the only functioning pilgrim tomorrow.

At the end of each day Steve and his wife Janet will post a video describing our activities of the day. Here is the first video:

No comments:

Post a Comment