Today will be a shorter entry for many reasons, but the main reason is that we are currently at a transition of our pilgrimage. We drove for two hours from the top of the Sea of Galilee to the top of the Dead Sea. (Click here to see pictures from today.)
As we did, it struck me that Jesus’ life was spent in such a fertile, lush land (the Galilee) while he had to travel through desert and up a mountaintop to Jerusalem in order to suffer and die. The contrast is stark and unavoidable.
We went through our first Israeli checkpoint tonight, as well – in Bethlehem. Two young soldiers with large guns walked through the bus checking our passports, then wished us a good night. (If only you could see this wall that the state of Israel has built around the “little town” of Bethlehem.)
How fitting – we began the day with the Mass of the Beatitudes, hearing Christ teach, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” and we concluded the day by traveling through this symbol of conflict and control. We are entering into a new phase of the life of Jesus and the local Church: a time of suffering.
Learn more about the Wall from a friend of the Pilgrim Center of Hope, a local of Jerusalem, Rula Shubeita, who visited us in San Antonio not long ago. You may be surprised by what you hear.