Eileen Hayes Reflection

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..Thank you fellow pilgrims for a great eight days together!

On the seventh day in the Holy Land, Sunday 11th November Fr. Reg led us on The Way of the Cross. By the fourth station the realisation that Christ faced this journey ’taking up His Cross’ hit me with an awareness that it is the only way to live for peace, happiness and health.  

As the awareness settled, I slowly moved along the marble like slippery cobble stones already well washed and whitened by a second day of rain.  Crowds were milling around and with no sign of a fellow pilgrim, my only option was to walk towards the Church of the Sepulchre. The message was clear now, ouch… if I face the pain of life and take up my cross, hurtful though it be, it will lead to peace, joy, happiness ..and resurrection.  

Outside the Church, a fellow pilgrim and I waved from across the crowded forecourt, like long lost friends we were thrilled to find each other!  Jacob, our guide, told us on the phone that our group on the Via Dolorosa would be arriving in 25 minutes so we headed for refreshments after watching the procession and listening to the heavy beat of the dark robed Coptic leaders leave the Holy Sepulchre.

Around the corner we ordered and paid for refreshments, then sat and waited to be served as the 25 minutes ticked away while our waiter dealt with others in a queue! On telling him we were time challenged, I witnessed another form of change and transformation while he brutally crushed sunkissed pomegranates to juice for his customers that would be totally transformed again within each human body!  Ouch, do all areas in life go through forms of pain’, change and transformation, without a choice, working together for the benefit of us all?  

I am a slow learner and my hope, choice and prayer after a life giving experience in Jerusalem is
..to try to accept life in a realistic way like Mary and her Son.