During the trip I had a strong awareness of the Blessed Mother. Our first Mass was at Cana where Mary intercedes for her friends (we then went immediately to Nazareth where Gabriel came to Mary), and our last Mass was at the church of Nativity in Bethlehem. She was with us every step in between. She teaches us true Christian discipleship, and for this reason she is called blessed - for she heard the word of God and observed it.
It is not easy to explain the gift of pilgrimage. Certainly pilgrimage is difficult: it is expensive, it requires sacrifice of time, comfort, familiarity, control, and many more challenges. However, it is all absolutely worth it! The graces that the Lord wishes to shower on us are super abundant each day of our lives, and pilgrimage (as well as retreat) offers a special opportunity for us to open our hearts to God’s work in us.
Next weekend will be our Parish retreat. Please pray for all the participants, that they have a deeper encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. May each of them come to know him more as an intimate friend, a divine spouse, a merciful Lord who heals our wounds, and the one desire of their hearts. Mother Mary, intercede for us.