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Colleen Spiro ponders Pope Francis' recent trip to Iraq in the context of her own trip to the Holy Land and Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem.

My pastor’s recent homily moved me to tears.

He spoke about the recent visit to Iraq by Pope Francis. It was the first ever papal visit to that country. It was dangerous. There was so much violence, not to mention the pandemic.

No one thought he should go.

The thought that kept running through my mind and touching my heart was that the Holy Father was behaving as Christ. In Persona Christi. In the person of Christ.

Years ago, when my husband retired, our children gave us the gift of a trip to Rome and the Holy Land. We knew we would enjoy Rome, but we really looked forward to visiting the Holy Land. However, as we got closer to the date of our trip, there was news of increased terrorist activity there.

No one thought we should go.

However, we were not afraid. We were in the Holy Land. It was the trip of a lifetime. We walked where Jesus walked. We knew we would never forget it.

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The first morning we woke up and looked out our window at the Sea of Galilee. I could hardly stay in my skin.

There were no problems except once when an armed soldier stopped and boarded our bus to search it. We got a little nervous, but when someone asked to take a picture of him, he posed with a smile on his face, rifle and all.

I can imagine Jesus’ disciples were very concerned about His safety when He went to Jerusalem. No one thought He should go. #catholicmom

I can imagine Jesus’ disciples were very concerned about His safety when He went to Jerusalem. It was dangerous. There might be violence. He might be arrested or killed.

No one thought He should go.

However, Jesus did go. At first He was greeted with cheers and palms. Later He was betrayed, arrested and crucified. But the good news was that was not the end of the story.

Easter happened.

Copyright 2021 Colleen Spiro
Image: Joachim Tüns (2014), Flickr, CC BY NC 2.0