Pilgrims are we!

Hi friends,

We are at the end of another glorious–if very hot!–day in which we have seen our faith and our teamwork fully alive. We began with a beautiful Mass in an ancient cave at Shepherd’s Field in the city of Bethlehem, located in the West Bank. Our entrance hymn, “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” never seemed so fitting! In Fr. Don’s homily, he shared how the shepherds were considered very lowly members of their contemporary society, and yet they have so much to teach us about caring for one another and the compassion that is central to our Christianity.  We are living witnesses to that truth.

We drove past the newly discovered site where Herod’s tomb has recently been discovered, Herodium, nestled on the side of the hillside. During the afternoon we visited the oldest Christian church in Bethlehem, the Basilica of the Nativity, dating to the 6th century. To access the site within the church where the birth of Jesus is venerated means negotiating a very steep and narrow flight of steps in which it is necessary to carry those pilgrims who cannot walk. It was an effort of great devotion, friendship and spiritual power to be one of a group that makes sure all teammates share the experience. This is our faith made real and made personal. It was a gift to all of us to partner with one another, whatever the obstacles. A special note of gratitude to Fr. Don who was an advocate extraordinaire for our group! He would be embarrassed by this mention, so keep it a secret…

Hugs to our loved ones. Keep us in your prayers.  Tomorrow we are on to Galilee and Caesarea Maritima!

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