Saturday, 5 September 2009

Can't wait

Well, folks, there'll be another gap in postings while I'm in the Holy Land. We're off early on Monday morning and will be back a week Wednesday. I'm not sure if I'll get time to post tomorrow, and I very much doubt if I'll get a chance to post in Israel.

This will be my fourth visit to the Holy Land, and I must say, as a veteran now of many pilgrim destinations, this one puts all the others in the shade. It quite simply is the best. All those many places we have read and heard about since we were children - and suddenly you're there! Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jerusalem - they're woven into the tapestry of our faith and lives, and indeed the very life of Christian civilization and history.
Emotions can be touched very deeply while there, and one of my tasks and privileges is to spend time with individuals there, and sometimes back home afterwards, to help them "make sense" of what they are experiencing. At times, someone will just be overcome, amd fall silent or gently cry, and needs to be left alone. We have made our trip this time a little longer, to allow more time at places like the lakeshore at Galilee or the Mount of Beatitudes, places where the peace and atmosphere can often lead to moments like those. I myself on our first visit in 1990 experienced the presence of Jesus very simply and deeply at the Mount.

So, never fear if you hear nothing for ten days - you'll be hearing plenty afterwards! To keep you going the picture shows the beautiful modern statue of Jesus with Peter at Tabgha on the lakeside entitled "You know I love you."

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