Holy Land Pilgrimage

The Decision of the Shepherds

January 23, 2019

I want to start my blog post by thanking everyone who has been praying for our journey in the Holy Land. I would ask you to please continue to pray for us as we follow in the footsteps of Christ during this pilgrimage. You are in our prayers as we visit many of the Holy Sites throughout the Holy Land.

Today was a special day for us as we were given the opportunity to spend an hour this evening in the grotto where Christ was born. This was special because the church had closed for the night so there would be a silence that can be challenging to find with all of the pilgrims and tour guides entering and exiting the grotto.


As we were gathered in the grotto I silently read the story of Jesus’s birth in the Gospel of Luke. While I was reflecting on the story, the shepherds stood out to me as they never had before. The shepherds were out keeping the night watch over their flock when the angel appeared to them telling them of the birth of Christ. The shepherds needed to make a decision: would they leave their flocks and find the infant Christ or would they stay with their flocks? The question reminded me of my discernment before I entered the seminary. Would I leave my good paying job and follow Christ not knowing what I would find or would I stay at my job? I have truly been blessed on my journey following Christ as I could have never imagined the experiences that I have had following him. Just as the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God, so will I after encountering Christ tonight in the spot where he was born.

James Flattery

Diocese of Davenport

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