This is where it ends. This is where it begins.

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Studying in public school, our creed has no bearings. We are unified as human beings in singing daily our national anthem out in the courtyard, rain or shine before we start our regiment of learning academics. Religion is not a … Continue reading

Trip of a Lifetime

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 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

As close as you can get

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Imagine that you inherited the land below this mountain, as far as your eyes could see in the middle of the desert. Thinking of Las Vegas, this is a gold mine that could easily be transformed into a watering hole … Continue reading

Thank Goodness It’s Wednesday

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I told my sisters not to shop on their trip to Holy Land and pay more attention to the real purpose of their pilgrimage: to walk where Jesus walked. So, instead, they sent me a photo of what they could … Continue reading

Be Careful

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As we enter the Holy Sepulcher, there lies a slab of stone where Jesus’ dead body was laid. The Orthodox priests anoint the stone with rose scented oil, walking around it as they say their prayers and holding an incense … Continue reading

Going Home – Thoughts of In between

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My thoughts are collections of other people’s ideas. There is no need for me to rewrite the story. They are good as they are. The following writings are thoughts from ordinary people who do extraordinary work that help shape my … Continue reading

Dying to oneself.

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Walking down from Mount Olives is Palm Sunday road, a road that Jesus took riding a donkey. It’s downhill and I saw this man and his donkey. They must be exhausted doing business with pilgrims like me to experience where Jesus … Continue reading

What Lies Behind the Wall

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Here I stood at Mount Olive, I could see the structure behind the wall with an onion-shaped golden dome. It’s calling me, and I wanted to visit the place, but it’s not part of our itinerary. Long after I came … Continue reading

An Open Wall

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  This is more than a crack on the wall, it’s one of the gates of Jerusalem called St. Stephen’s Gate or Lion’s Gate. I spent more time on the walls of the gate, soaking up the atmosphere, listening to … Continue reading

Walls of Jerusalem

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The walls of Jerusalem are originally built to protect the city from intrusion and a defense under the rule of the Ottoman empire. Inside these walls is the seat of Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The wall has so many gates … Continue reading

This causes me to tremble

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Was I there? At the crack of dawn, when everybody is still asleep, before the narrow streets of Old Jerusalem turn into a market place and become crowded with people, we were there to do the Via Dolorosa and reflect what … Continue reading

Jerusalem: Filmed for IMAX and Giant Screen Theaters

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Jerusalem: Video Clip

If you have the time, please view the  breathtaking scenes on Jerusalem today. Don’t take too long, though, for it might be taken off any time soon because of copyright.

After a year of research and preparation, the giant screen film JERUSALEM advanced into production with an unprecedented aerial shoot throughout Israel and the West Bank.

The film will take the audiences on a spectacular tour of the Holy Land and the city once believed to be the centre of the world.

A 7-minute preview of a new IMAX film on Jerusalem. The aerial views are breathtaking and in HD Quality.

Star of Bethlehem: A Pilgrim Story

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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

Sunday, January 6, 2013 , Epiphany Day

Happy Three Kings.    It’s the last day of Christmas based on my tradition.  I have mentioned this on my post Gimme – Traditionally Speaking .  If you want to read more about the history see Britannica – Epiphany.
Last night I reminded niece Lucy to bring out her shoes for the Three Kings since she forgot last year and missed out on the treats.  She was thankful for the reminder.
For myself, I hanged these shoes on my door.  On my side of the building, my neighbours are mostly Christians.  I don’t know if they practice, though.  However, they understand what those shoes mean to me.
Shoes for Three Kings

Shoes for Three Kings

 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.

Goodbye, Jerusalem
            Goodbye, Bethlehem
                        Goodbye, Nazareth

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.

Last Night at Jordan - Nov 2011

Last Night at Jordan – Nov 2011

 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.