Next Week in Jerusalem!

Yes, dear readers, by this time next week I will be heading off to Jordan, Israel, Turkey and Greece on a 34 day study tour of the Bible Lands with the Catholic Theological College. I will be attempting to keep a daily diary via this ‘ere blog, so you can keep up with me as I go. All being well, Deo Volente, Insh Allah, Wifi hotspots and technology allowing etc.

It is my hope that this journey (which is a kind of sabbatical for me after 10 years of service at the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission) will enrich my understanding of many of the aspects of my daily work, both with the Commission and with my teaching for Anima. I expect that I will never listen again to the readings of Scripture in quite the same way.

A priest friend of mine, who has recently travelled in these areas, said something significant. He said: “Up till now these have been just stories for you. Now you will actually be there, where Jesus rose from the dead and met with Mary Magdelene, and where you will read ‘Here the Word became Flesh’ and you will ask yourself, ‘Really? Here? Did that really happen?”

For myself, I wonder, whether the past will still be visible in these places, or whether the present – the Wall dividing Israel and Palestine, the war in Syria, the Global Financial Crisis in Greece etc. etc. – will overwhelm everything else.

Pray for me, as I will pray for all my friends, family and colleagues on my journey. While it is a study tour, it is also a kind of pilgrimage for me. I have been to Rome and Constantinople and a number of other important sites, but this trip will be the “biggy”, so to speak. I don’t know quite what to expect, but I do expect to be very tired when I return – five weeks is a long time to be on any international journey, and I will certainly be missing home while away.

About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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7 Responses to Next Week in Jerusalem!

  1. Tony says:

    Sounds like a great trip, David. Go well!

    I guess this is your itinerary: http://www.ctc.edu.au/Study-Tour-of-the-Biblical-Lands-2012/2012-Study-Tour-proposed-itinerary.aspx

    As it happens we’ll be doing something similar with our own tour of the Western side of Turkey while you’re in Israel and a course under the auspices of St George’s College in Jerusalem while you’re in Turkey.

    We’ll be able to compare notes.

    (Maybe we’ll both have a pilgrimage Metanoia and you’ll come back as a liberal and I’ll come back as a conservative! :-) )

    • Schütz says:

      Yes, that’s our itinerary (more or less – there have bee tweaks since). What a pity we won’t cross paths! Will you be keeping an online journal?

      I know of a number of other pilgrimages travelling at the same time – it will be interesting to see who we run into.

  2. Joshua says:

    Enjoy your trip, David – keep safe and remember us in your prayers!

  3. Ian says:

    Farewell! Enjoy! David I hope that this trip will be be restorative and spiritually uplifting. I agree with your priest friend, until you’ve been the places “where Jesus walked” the Gospels are just stories (not that stories aren’t powerful things in and of themselves). Of course, the one thing that may strike you is not that you can nail down exact details (“Oh so this is the mount of Transfiguration!”), but that you get a real sense of the culture in which the first stories about Jesus emerged. Technology may have changed the landscape of Israel and Jordan; but the culture remains almost intact. Godspeed!

    • Schütz says:

      Thanks, Ian! I am particularly keen to do this tour because of how I hope it may enrich my appreciation for the ancient texts. I highly value the socio-historical critical methods, and am aware that while one cannot bridge the thousands of years between biblical times and today, one can at least bridge the geographical divide, and, to some extent, the cultural.

  4. “A priest friend of mine, who has recently travelled in these areas, said something significant. He said: “Up till now these have been just stories for you. Now you will actually be there, where Jesus rose from the dead and met with Mary Magdelene, and where you will read ‘Here the Word became Flesh’ and you will ask yourself, ‘Really? Here? Did that really happen?””
    “just stories”…”Did that really happen”…Goodness! Are all modern Catholics de facto liberals who doubt the historicity of the Gospel narratives?

  5. George Li says:

    I like the text below …. I have never thought about visiting the Holy land with this in mind but it is so true … Now I want to there too . Wish you a very rich journey. Cheers George.

    He said: “Up till now these have been just stories for you. Now you will actually be there, where Jesus rose from the dead and met with Mary Magdelene, and where you will read ‘Here the Word became Flesh’ and you will ask yourself, ‘Really? Here? Did that really happen?”

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