The wonders of the Holy Land were only surpassed by the wonderful people that Mícheál had brought with him to this fantastic place. When one suffered we all were in pain. On Wednesday I met 18 total strangers. Ten days later I left 18 new friends behind at Dublin Airport.
The tour as organised by Mícheál de Barra and led by Fr John Newman left nothing to be desired. It took place between 8th and 18th of June. The hotels were great, the food was outstanding and we had a great guide in Nimrod. Yes, it was a pilgrimage but the religion was light and appropriate and Fr John's commentaries on the Gospel readings illuminated not only the life of Christ but brought life to the very stones that were contemporaneous with Him. "John's Nuggets", as we referred to the notes he gave us each evening, informed us about the places we were to visit the next day. It would be difficult for a Christian to visit the Holy Land and not have the trip made more meaningful by the Gospel.
From Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee in the North through the Golan Heights and Nazareth and Cana and to Bethlehem behind the Wall and onward to the Dead Sea and Jerusalem we journeyed. Everyone had there own favourite place. Masada was awe inspiring but I was moved by Calvary in a way I could not imagine or describe.
It was the most wonderful experience. I returned wealthier and wiser with some long held ideas confirmed and some changed. I am glad that I took my wife's advice (orders) to go. I would highly recommend the trip. Until next year in Jerusalem.