Walking into HIStory, discovering my God of mystery!
I have always been a man on the move; hurricanes sometimes get a complex in my presence. Even for the love of God I can’t see myself as dense or as dead as the Dead Sea; onward and forward is my motto. Yet here I am embarking on a journey that will only let me take one step forward if I am willing to take two thousand steps back. That’s the power of the ‘terrae sanctae’ or the Holy Land.
For quite a while I have held out on embarking on such a journey for I have been put off by the many narratives of pilgrims who have expressed their disappointment about the commercialization of this sacred land by business establishments and governments. Yet deep within I feel my heart tugging me to Jerusalem, longing to walk the sands of time in the city of God and sing with the psalmist, “at last our feet are standing within your gates O Jerusalem.’ (Psalm 122:2)
My journey will begin in the wee hours of the fifth of November 2018 and will end in twelve days. Like Egeria the nun who chronicled her pilgrimage in 380 AD or the unknown ‘pilgrim of Bordeaux’ who chronicled the oldest known Christian itinerarium recounting his journey to the Holy Land in the years 333, I too hope to pen not only what my eyes see but also what my heart dares to experience.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where God brought an end to Moses’ long journey on Mount Nebo will be the starting point of my journey of faith. From this mountain, my journey will take me to the Holy mountain of Jerusalem and the many cities of Israel which Our Lord set foot on.
This is a land sacred to three semitic religions yet ironically it has been crisscrossed by marauding armies and pilgrims who have not always come in peace. My prayer at the Western wall, the surviving remnant of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, will be for peace in the world but even more for peace in our hearts.
As I journey in faith to this tiny piece of land once considered the centre of the world (omphalos mundi) I will carry with me the prayers and petitions of family, friends, parishioners and those of you who avidly read PottyPadre.com. The holiest shrines of Christendom are not built merely with stones that have encountered history but have been built with living stone; the prayers of God’s faith filled and faithful people. I walk now humbly as a pilgrim in the footsteps of Jesus my Lord and how blessed I am.
Pray for me and if you like you can send me your prayer petitions
Fr Warner D’Souza