Where can I find a blessing seeing the wall of Bethlehem that is now covered with street art that speaks volume?
Stars & Bucks Cafe is better than Starbucks because there is no Starbucks in Bethlehem. Coffee Palestinian style. Free Wi-Fi. They also offer juice, ice cream, desserts and much more. Also, they sell their own “You Are Here …” mug. … Continue reading
I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism, and Christianity. I want to be with the Muslims, Jews, and Christians: and have interfaith dialogue. At the hotel in Jordan, waiting to leave for Canada, I … Continue reading
The Holy Land is not so holy when the Israelis occupy the land of the Palestine’s, the Muslims building mosque on top of the Christian church and the Christians are now a minority. There is always trouble yet I went … Continue reading
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Meditating on this photo with Mary in mind, she gladly accepted what was unacceptable. She said YES to conceive. What a courageous act. She waited with great understanding, anticipation and longing to fulfill her calling. As I reflected on this, my breathing slows down absorbing the joyful mystery. A one-minute-meditation, my mind and heart became pregnant with desire to be more intimate with Jesus Christ.
Needless to say, I received some treats from the Three Kings and then some. Next celebration is Easter Sunday. Mark your calendar that will April 7, 2013.
In my faith, today is also called Epiphany. The meaning from Webster Dictionary is:
: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
: an intuitive grasp of reality through as an event usually simple and striking
: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
: a revealing scene or moment
: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
Have you ever had an Epiphany? I think I did. And let me tell you this story that happened in 2011 Pilgrimage to Holy Land, Egypt and Jordan.
Pandemonium! Everybody was excited to go home after 21 days of being on the road as a Pilgrim. People are coming in and out of their hotel rooms. Checking each other’s luggage. Sharing stories, pictures and laughter. What did you buy to bring home? What’s your favourite place? What, what, what? Too many questions and I am starting to become tone-deaf. I need some solitude.
I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism and Christianity. I want to be with the Muslims, Jews and Christians: and have an Interfaith Dialogue. But good things must come to an end.
Last night at Jordan side: I retreated to the balcony to find some peace and quiet, drinking tea and having a smoke. The balcony is facing a beautiful garden and overlooking the Dead Sea. I could see Israel from the balcony. On a clear day, I could literally see the walls of the old Jerusalem. On the right, I can imagine the location of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other geographical areas of where ancient time began based on the First and Old Testament. This will be my last trip. I have now covered the places of the Testaments. The Bible will become truly alive in my mind and heart. The readings during the mass will be more meaningful for my mind can conjure the places where I have visited. Gratitude, I am filled with gratitude to my God for making it possible for me to experience the trip of a lifetime.
It’s dark. Only a silhouette of the mountain is visible. The lights were flickering across the waters. Inside the hotel room, commotion ruled.
I settled in the dark, trying to calm myself down. It’s good to be here, Lord. I started speaking in my mind. Careful that nobody will hear me for they already think I’m batty. Don’t care. Then, whispering softly, I raised my right arm, started waving goodbye to Israel.
Oh, what is that? A star? A bright shining star that appeared so close and yet so far. Hmm, is it a plane? No, it’s not moving. Ok then, as I made this schizophrenic dialogue within myself. One asks; the other personality answers. Oh, let me see. That’s Jerusalem, that’s, Nazareth; that’s Bethlehem. Aha! This must be the STAR that the Magi saw. Imagine that and it’s not even Christmas yet.Excitement came rushing out of my body. I must take a picture. Made a quick dash inside the room, grabbed my camera and Neli, another pilgrim, to show her what I see. This rushing must have only taken 15 to 25 seconds. When I got out, the STAR is gone. Oh, no. It’s gone. I was so disappointed and sad that I have no picture to show off about my last night. Checked the horizon if there’s anything floating in the sky that is as big as the STAR. No, it’s pitched dark. Neli gave me “the look”, walked out of the room. Later I followed for it’s time to check out. At Frankfurt airport, I pulled Father Priest on the side and told him about my experience. He simply said in his infinite wisdom, the STAR is meant only for my eyes to see. No camera can ever capture it. I was so moved by his explanation and tears of joy came out. Picture, yes, I have a picture of the STAR; in the eyes of my heart. I praise you, O Lord, for your works are wonderful. Blessed be God forever.