After thirty-six ours of travel, we finally arrive in Bethlehem. En route we had a 10-hour lay over in Amsterdam. Most were exhautednbynlack of sleep on the flight, though pleasant enough if one were a sardine, and first thing we were able to celebrate the Mass in there Meditation Centre.
. It was the Feast of All Saints. The Mass is beautiful and I never noticed how much the propers (the collects and the preface) mention how our time here on earth is a pilgrimage to the Father’s house. The Gospel is the Beatitudes. I never noticed before how, of the nine beatitudes, seven talk about the fulfilment in the future tense, while the two that talk about the Kingdom of Heaven are in the present tense. Which is to say, also the complete fulfilment of the Beatitudes is not ours until the future, yet our Lord, in his great mercy and love already gives us a first instalment. The Kingdom of God, which was inaugurated with the Paschal Mystery is already among us and we share in it by our baptism. As our Lord,said elsewhere, the Kingdom of God is within.
Here are some pics of the Nativity Hotel where we are staying.