January 18, 2020
Leading up to our travel date, I had been contemplating and praying with the Magi. Guided by the star, these wise men journeyed far to be in the presence of the Incarnate God, Jesus Christ. I, too, have been called and privileged to make a pilgrimage; to be in the place where He was born, where He was raised, where He ministered, where He suffered, where He died, where He rose. Being at these important sites in the life of Christ will “flesh out” what I have only been able to think and read and pray about.
Like any journey, there has already been a few hitches (I’m certain the Magi had some difficulties and hiccups on their journey, too). A looming snowstorm hit O’Hare Airport as we boarded our plane. The plane was de-iced and we made our way to the runway only to be turned back…three times this happened! Finally, after being stuck on the tarmac for four hours, we were able to take off into the night sky.
As I write this in the Frankfurt airport, our anticipation exceeds the inevitable difficulties of travel. Our anticipation grows. We look forward to encounter Christ in a new way… not just in the monstrance or tabernacle, not just in Sacred Scripture, but in the “Fifth Gospel” – the Holy Land!
Shortly we will board another plane and head further east. The anticipation builds and will continue to build. For the entirety of our lives, my classmates and I have read the Good News, but soon – very soon – we will be able to walk in the very places these stories have taken place.
As men on the verge of ordination, we realize that our lives are not our own. We live for the people whom the Lord has called us to serve. We experience this pilgrimage with you and for you. Undoubtedly, the way we read Sacred Scripture will never be the same. When we return and are ordained deacons, our preaching will reflect and share these experiences encountered on our pilgrimage to you, the People of God. God has been incredibly good to us and we are grateful for all of your prayers and support. Please be assured of our prayers for you!
Archdiocese of Chicago