Holy Land Pilgrimage

Moments of Stillness

February 17, 2022

“Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). We have been on the pilgrimage for about a month now, and one thing remains true for me, that every day somehow surpasses the one before, and one activity manages to surprise one or more of my brothers on pilgrimage. Each day has been an adventure, exploring Holy Sites, seeing the great wonders of the Holy Land, and most importantly, realizing that I am walking in the same place where our Lord walked and lived on. That is stillness for me, where I remain in awe of the great wonders we are seeing.

Ironic, really, is the way that our Lord surprises us; I am from Arizona but have never seen the Grand Canyon with my own eyes, yet we were walking around the sites of Masada, I can imagine it looks a lot like the Grand Canyon. Seeing the great places when nature and man come together is truly breathtaking. Or leaving the desert and entering a waterfall in Ein Gedi and seeing the green lands and caves where King David hid from Saul. But the greatness of taking all of these moments is willing to risk leisure time to walk on the streets of Bethlehem on a snowy cold morning. Because even then, God manages to surprise every one of us. Snow! Not the Chicago winter but snow in the town where Jesus was born! We just let the spirit move us into the moments we don’t plan yet. We are blessed to be here; I am blessed to let God continue to surprise me.

As these next few months approach and the moments of ordination come to take place, all of these places will remain in my heart. To the moment of that day and the days of ministry that will come after, everything I have learned and seen will impact the mission that is the preaching of the Gospel. I try to remain still, yet God manages to surprise me. In the greatest moment of stillness, where everything pauses, as we celebrate the Eucharist in every site we go to, we remember the greatest event in human history. We join with all of you back home as you celebrate the Eucharist. “Be still and know that I am God.” Remember always to let yourselves be surprised by the Lord; you never know when you are in a moment of stillness, yet you know something amazing is happening. I thank you all for your prayers, and blessings from the Holy Land! “I thank God every time I remember you in my prayer.” (Philippians 1:3)

Jesus Gomez
Diocese of Tucson

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