The Road to Emmaus…

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

pray for paris

pray for paris

We woke up on Saturday morning in Jerusalem and immediately heard the news of the terrorist attacks in Paris. We are scheduled to have a 7-hour layover at the Paris airport tomorrow but our thoughts turned quickly to the victims and their families.

road to emmaus roman road

We had breakfast and then departed at 8 a.m. in the direction of Emmaus, which is famous because of the Biblical reference but isn’t a specific place on the map. We went to Abu-Ghosh, about 10 miles west of Jerusalem, which has been identified as one of the possible locations of Emmaus.

the lower level of the church at Emmaus, built by the crusaders in the 12th century

the lower level of the church at Emmaus, built by the crusaders in the 12th century

the main sanctuary . . . frescos on the walls dating back to the time of the crusaders

the main sanctuary . . . frescos on the walls dating back to the time of the crusaders

We stopped first at the Benedictine Monastery that was built by the Crusaders in the 12th Century. Today a community of nuns and priests continue the worship in the church and offer hospitality, reflecting the ancient story of the men and women on the road to Emmaus who encountered the risen Christ (Luke 24:13-35). According to excavations completed in 1944, the Crusaders identified the site as the biblical Emmaus.

reading about the resurrected Jesus in a place near where the resurrected Jesus appeared to his followers

reading about the resurrected Jesus in a place near where the resurrected Jesus appeared to his followers

Fr. Ralph and Fr. Kamal

Fr. Ralph and Fr. Kamal

Fr. Kamal, shares his wisdom for the final time . . . on this trip at least ;-)

Fr. Kamal, shares his wisdom for the final time . . . on this trip at least 😉

We then bused up a steep hill to Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant Church, located on a beautiful site overlooking the city, with Jerusalem visible in the distance. We read the Scriptural account of the Resurrection and Fr Kamal blessed us with his final teaching of the trip.

the good reverend Aran Walter talking a selfie before eucharist

the good reverend Aran Walter talking a selfie before eucharist

the prayers of the people, praying for the Church and the World

the prayers of the people, praying for the Church and the World

the gifts of God for the people of God

the gifts of God for the people of God

the beautiful church of Notre Dame de l'Arche d'Alliance

the beautiful church of Notre Dame de l’Arche d’Alliance

After spending time in meditation, we went into the church for the final Eucharist of our trip. Aran Walter celebrated and after Michele Whitford read the Gospel (that included the Road to Emmaus account), each person reflected on what part of the reading held the most significance. There was no shortage of emotion as we looked back on the previous 17 days.

farewell to Fr. Kamal Farah . . . we WILL see you again soon

farewell to Fr. Kamal Farah . . . we WILL see you again soon

We then had lunch served by the Sisters of St. Joseph before returning to our hotel. First, we had to say farewell to Fr Kamal who was heading back to his home in Nazareth, leaving in his wake 24 thankful and better educated pilgrims.

prayer-sillouette

We now await our trip to Tel Aviv late Saturday night and our scheduled flight to Paris, followed by the last leg of our trip to Chicago.  Thus far, all indications are that our flights in and out of Paris are without delay or cancellation.  (see our previous post on this)  Please pray for that whole situation as well as

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” – Psalm 122:6

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s