My college roommate touching the slab in which Jesus was laid.
This morning was personally the most moving of all. My ‘true confession’ is a traveler’s possible worst nightmare. The ‘mini nightmare’ …I fell on our second night here. It was a bad blow to my left knee and has left me significantly impaired regarding mobility. Since that moment of time ….Bud, Monsignor Hogan and my fellow pilgrims have stepped up with unbelievable support!!! They have carried this lame pilgrim physically, by wheel ‘chariot’ (our new nickname for the wheel chair-:) and prayed abundantly for a miraculous healing!! I share this NOT for sympathy as I remain VERY blessed to be here. I share it because one just never knows what lies ahead and one has to really trust in God that it will all work out. One has to learn to gratefully and graciously accept help–thank you Monsignor!! Little did I know that God would have me participating in this journey as a ‘physically handicapped pilgrim’. What a learning opportunity now exists for my personal growth!!! The experience has been filled with intense humility—as it is not easy for this independent soul to be at the mercy of everyone else’s care. I can not even begin to thank Bud and my fellow pilgrims for all they are doing to allow me to travel into tombs, across layers of archaic steps, over thresholds 5 plus inches high, across cobblestones that are centuries old, physically loading me on and off busses ….not many handicap accessible spots over here-:)!!! All of this immense, unselfish assistance has been given so that this humble pilgrim might share in the shared joy of seeing the mystery of His presence!! And to boot, all this in the midst of yet another tragic terrorist attack in the exact city in which we are staying… In God We Trust….
This morning we arose at 3:45 so that we could head to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Bud and my fellow charioteers immediately kicked into action to get me down back alleys unimaginable to the likes of a wheelchair!! Today’s journey all lead to where Christ died on Calvary, was then laid on the stone slab and then taken to his tomb–all now housed in the huge Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Tears flowed abundantly as Monsignor said Mass right over Jesus’s burial tomb!! Unfortunately, the pictures could never even begin to adequately capture this sacred moment.
The group then walked to visit the Latin Patriarch. An extremely impactful moment for all….I passed on this opportunity, as I wanted to give my ‘charioteers’ and ‘back pack carriers’ ( thank you, Roomie!!) a needed break-:)!!
Then we were all off to Bethlehem and the site where the shepherds heralded Jesus!! Here are a few pics of our day’s journey…with the first picture being the Threshhold of Humility ( how ironic) with the entrance into the Nativity being the absolute smallest entrance I have ever seen…imagine this and it is the actual spot where it is believed Jesus was born!!!
Threshold (Door) of Humility…entrance into the Nativity…..
Actual spot of veneration for Jesus’s birth.
And of course, we turned around and there was St. Anthony of Padua…a family favorite!! And look who Bud spotted headed in for Mass…..a young MC–those wonderful Missionaries of Charity serving all over the world!!!