Another trip in Pop-Up Bible
In the Christmas holidays my friends and I had the privilege once again of visiting the Holy Land. I’m sometimes asked if I’m always thrilled to go again after having been so many times. My answer is always in the affirmative. Just as I never tire hearing, reading and meditating the Word of God, visiting the land of Israel is like entering the ‘picture pop-up version’ of the Bible.
This year’s highlight was our trip to the ancient ruins of Magdala by the Sea of Galilee. There they recently discovered a synagogue as it was in the time of Jesus and so it is certain that He Himself went there.
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Whilst a trip to the Holy Land is therefore very enriching, it is not absolutely necessary for us to get close to the Lord. For whilst in Bethlehem we were reminded that St. Jerome referred to the cave where Jesus was born as the ‘holiest spot on earth,’ the Gospel makes it clear that the fruit of Jesus’ death and resurrection is that the Lord now dwells in our heart.
So this year we are all encouraged to draw close to Him in prayer, scripture, the sacraments and reaching out to others in love. And yes, if you can include a trip to the land of the so-called ‘Fifth Gospel’ that would be an added bonus.