Bethlehem is Not What Most People Expect

by Steve Ray on April 26, 2013

Bethlehem is a city of contrasts, the largest between Christian vs. Muslim. Today we spent the day touring this ancient city which in many ways has still not moved into the modern world. It is behind a wall which constrains the inhabitants. We can come and go—they cannot.

 We literally fought our way into the Church of Nativity to touch the birthplace of Christ. We did not throw any punches but the pressing crowds forced us to push back. But everyone thought it was worth the wait and the struggle.

 Lunch of falafils and schwarma, dinner of stuffed lamb with Palestinian rice and yellow lentil soup. 

With the Bishop of Jerusalem

 Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field where the angels announced the good news of the birth of a lamb, the Lamb of God. Prayer with shawl of the Blessed Mariam of Jesus Crucified in front of her relics caused us all to pray for holiness and sanctity. 

 The evening was also a contrast. We ended dinner by dancing to the throbbing beats of Arabic music before walking to meet the Bishop of Jerusalem. He updated us on the situation of the Christians in the Holy Land and gave us his blessing.

 Everyone had a part of the evening free but they all went to be early because tomorrow morning we pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa and have Mass inside the Tomb of Christ.

All is well and everyone is having a great time. For all those concerned about safety – it is a non-issue. Everything is peaceful and quiet as usual as tens of thousands of pilgrims spread out over the country to visit the holy sites.

Bethlehem and Jerusalem – Dancing and Bishops

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie G. April 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Love it !!! Fr. Janusz “busting a move “… or trying to fly….. not sure which :-)))) God Bless!!!

Scott and Kay Smallwood April 26, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Wow what an incredible journey for your group. Your wonderful priest, Fr Janusz is a great choice to help with the spiritual guidance of this group. We know because we miss him dearly here at Blessed Sacrament in Rapid City, SD. Fr recently led us on a journey of 33 Days to Morning Glory ending with the consecration of our group to Jesus through his Blessed Mother Mary on the day of the Annunciation. Please let Fr know that we miss him and he really does look smashing in those sunglasses but his dancing skills will have to be improved upon a little bit. God Bless you all and we wish we were there with you.
Scott and Kay Smallwood

Katie sample April 26, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Sounds like an amazing trip! Since this is my only communication tool, tell my mother happy birthday! It is still her birthday over here. I am sure it was a great one for her.We are praying for all of you!

Melissa Aberle April 26, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Dear Abuna Janusz!

We just watched your day in Bethlehem! We had some good laughs. I think you should stick to making Falafel – instead of dancing! :)
What a joy it is to follow along as you make your pilgrimage.
Please be assured of our daily prayers and sacrifices for you.
Please remember us in your prayers as well.
Love, Robert, Melissa, Maria, John and Gianna

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