31 January 2009

Back from the Holy Land...

We're back from a most wonderful pilgrimage. Thirty-nine of us spent several days praying at those places made holy by the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. When I have pictures from some of the other pilgrims, I'll share more of our experiences -- especially the tragedy of the suffering Christians in the Holy Land. What is known simply as "the wall" is like an ugly scar running through places like Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives, Bethany...

Meanwhile, here are a few of the places in which we celebrated our Masses.
Our first Mass was at the Grotto of the Annunciation in Nazareth... a wonderful place to begin our pilgrimage.


The basilica on the Mount of the Beatitudes...

We felt like Peter, James and John as we celebrated Mass on Mt. Tabor, where Christ was transfigured...



The Church of the Agony, and in front of the altar, the stone where Christ knelt and sweat drops of blood...


And at the very center of it all -- the Holy Sepulchre, the tomb in which Christ rose from the dead. I offered the Mass inside the tomb, on the very spot where Christ's lifeless Body was placed on Good Friday...