Holy Land Pilgrimage

Walk Humbly with Your God

February 6, 2019

Before coming to the Holy Land, one of the things that I heard most from people after they found out that I was about to go to the Holy Land was, “you are going to walk in the same place as Jesus!” And one of the priests at Mundelein in a homily before we left, put that phrase into perspective. He gave witness to his encounter with the human side of Jesus during his own trip to the Holy Land, witnessing to the fact that He was a living, breathing, and real person who walked this Earth, one who walked as the Word made flesh, in the place I was going and now have been in for just over two weeks. The same Jesus who was fully human, sent by God to live among us, to be like us in all ways but sin, and who would suffer and die for me and for all. And now I am walking in his footsteps, in the place he lived as a man, as a human being! But as great as this is and how lucky I am to be here, it didn’t seem to be enough. That was until I went to Mass at the Church of the Nativity.

It is at the Church of the Nativity where they say Jesus was born and laid in a manger, and within the Church there is a grotto with a star to commemorate the place of Jesus’ birth, then another spot to commemorate the spot for the manger, and between them is the altar where Mass is said. And it was there, when Jesus was made present in the Eucharist that it all clicked. Before it seemed as if he wasn’t with me on this pilgrimage fully. But “it was in the breaking of the bread”, like from the famous story of the Road to Emmaus in Luke’s Gospel that it made sense of what was going on, and my heart was burning. He was not just some human the was dead and gone and that walked where I was. No! He is ever more alive here, and it is why so many people flock to this Holy Site as the Shepherds did, because it is so much more than an encounter with the man of Jesus, it is an encounter with His whole self, as both man and God.

“You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8

Johnathan Johnson
Diocese of Grand Rapids

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