Highlights from 2014 Pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine

Jan. 20, 2014

Arriving at Ben Gurion Airport early Saturday morning,  I was struck by its beauty. Unlike any airport I have seen.  Bright, open, airy.

20140119_163756Bus ride from airport/Tel Aviv about 45 minutes, and eventually you begin ascending the hills to the city on the hill. As we did so Father Don Senior, C.P., our guide for the pilgrimage,  read Psalm 122, the song of the pilgrims as the climbed the hills to Jerusalem.

Yesterday,  Sunday,  we visited the Museum of Israel and viewed a life-size model of the Old City as it looked at the time of Christ.  We also viewed the exhibits concerning the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Then to Yad Vashem. Hard to describe one’s emotions. Particularly wrenching is a candle-lit memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered in the Holocaust.

We ended the day at the Church of the Cenacle, close to the site of the Last Supper. Father Don noted in his homily the connection between Catholic Charities serving the Many,  and Christ saying at the supper that his body would be given for you and for many.

Yesterday I experienced Jerusalem as a cauldron into which we-Muslims, Jews, Christians- have and are pouring our fears and joys. It is quite a stew.  It is the center.

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