By Fr.David Steffy,L.C., Chargé of the Holy See
September 1st, 2023 - Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center
Dear Friends of the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center,
I have recently been reflecting on the gift and privilege of serving and ministering to pilgrims in the Holy Land. This is the land that Jesus chose to call home. This is the land that Jesus so often made reference to in his parables and preaching. His references to flowers, trees, landscape, shepherds, fisherman and so much more come from his personal experience of this land. This is the also the land where he chose not only to live but also to offer his life for us as a result of a very real political and religious situation that was far from just. This is the land of redemption despite the paradox of injustice. This is a land of pilgrimage.
To make a Pilgrimage to this land is to gain insight into the loving plan of God for each of us. This is the land in which our Savior chose to redeem the world. Jesus Christ lived, died and rose in this land, not to restore justice nor peace but to bring his saving love to the world. This is the key to understanding this land. It is the gift of this redemptive love that gives us a chance to restore justice and peace in this land and all lands of the world. Because justice and peace are not an end in themselves, but a result of living in His redemptive love. It is in this Holy Land where he taught us the lesson that peace and justice can be achieved through redemptive love that respects the sacred dignity of all men and women. My hope is that as pilgrims (and we should all see ourselves as pilgrims in this world) we can all agree on that.
These months are a quieter time of the year because of the heat and many people choosing closer to home vacations rather than pilgrimage. Regardless of that, there are always lots of pilgrims and pilgrimage experiences here at the Notre Dame Center, and I hope you enjoy hearing about them in this newsletter.
Count on my prayers and may our Lord and His Mother continue to bless you and your loved ones abundantly.
Sincerely in Christ,
Father David Steffy, L.C.