Today, fifteen members of the S+L team depart for the Holy Land for a ten-day Lenten pilgrimage where we'll visit the major Christian holy sites and film a number of programs. We'll be joined by a larger group of pilgrims from across Canada and the US who are participating through our Blessed Journeys program. Few of us have been there before and there is much excitement among the group. I was fortunate to have studied in Israel back in 2009 and it was an experience I will never forget.
Of course the Holy Land—ancient as it is—is filled with rocks and ruins. Despite the enormous historical importance and personal meaning of the various biblical sites, a tour can become a bit monotonous: “Hey look, more ruins!” Visiting the Holy Land is an exercise in historic and religious imagination.
But there’s something very special about standing on the same ground as Jesus and the great biblical figures. And not only them, but also the millions of people who over the course of 2,000 years have visited the same sites out of devotion to the Christian faith. If the land is called “holy” it’s because it’s been blessed by so many ordinary people who have come to see the Lord.
And because we’re a media organization, we’re happy to say that you too can come with us on the journey! We’ll be updating our audience regularly throughout the trip, so be sure to connect with us:
Here's our special prayer for the trip that you can pray along with us! (Pilgrimage Prayer by Fr.Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.)
Lord Jesus Christ,
you were once a pilgrim in this Holy Land.
We, too, have come as pilgrims,
to journey with you into the desert
to listen to the powerful Word of the God of Israel
spoken in our own deserts.
We follow you into Galilee,
to understand and experience your presence and healing.
We come up to Jerusalem to join the great crowd
that came to meet you crying,
“Hosanna! Blessed is the One
who comes in the name of the Lord!”
We walk with you on the road to Golgotha
and share in your passion.
Seeing you nailed to the cross,
we bow down before your suffering and dying.
We journey with you on the road to Emmaus
and discover you in the breaking and sharing
of the Word and the Bread.
Show us the glory of your resurrection.
Open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds,
so that we may find you not only in ancient stones,
but in the midst of your holy peoples who still live here,
and among all those who thirst for you,
wherever they may be.
Write your Gospel upon our hearts.
Send us forth carrying the Good News.
Continue to lead us and guide us
on our pilgrimage to the heavenly Jerusaelm.
With prayers and best wishes to you all, bon voyage!