Updated: Oct 13
As some of you may know, Fr. Leo has been away this past week on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land organized by his family’s parish in New York. He was kind enough to take a small break from his spiritual journey to send all of us an update. Greetings from the Holy Land! The experience of walking the same paths in which Christ trod has been beyond moving. As I promised the pastor, I’ve been praying for you all throughout this journey in particular as we circled around the Temple Mount. In our Sunday Gospel today, Christ both prophesies and promises that not one stone will be left upon another. This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter, forcing archaeologists to dig down pretty far through the rubble to find exceptions. Here is one of them: the Southern steps to the Temple Mount, leading up from the Kidron Valley, were (and are) the very steps Christ Himself walked. These steps, sometimes called the Rabbi steps, have an irregular arrangement. This means the steps are of different widths and while this would not be ADA compliant, it forced those approaching the Temple to slow down and pay attention to the profound mystery and presence that one was approaching. When Neil Armstrong visited the city following his moon landing, he asked a local archaeologist to find him a place where Christ would have walked. And having been shown these same southern steps, he remarked that it meant more to him to walk where Christ had walked than to have walked on the moon. That God took flesh and walked among us means far more than anything else, if we but respond to the mystery with the flourishing gift of faith. That mystery the Word of God made flesh is available at any Mass, at any altar around the world. And so, while you may not walk on the moon like Neil Armstrong, you do have the chance to have Christ Himself dwelling with you through His grace a gift and indwelling that does not require any grand voyage on your part. Please pray for me!