Rejoice and be glad!
That is the message I got from a song playing during the Eucharistic celebration I’ve attended last night at the Shrine of Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life near my office here in SM Mall of Asia Pasay City. Such a simple messsage but already stirred flood of tears inside me. I can what others would say in a ‘separation anxiety’ stage. It’s been three days now since the Lord called me to get to know His Son more through a two-week Holy Land Pilgrimage in the land of Jordan and Israel. A truly fulfilling experience that is truly not planned and yet He fulfilled!
As I seek Jesus face to know more Him; He answered me on our first night at Nazareth during a prayer time- that if I really want to know Him then I should know Him through my co-pilgrims. And that’s what I did:
Bubut – she has a contagious way of dancing even the beat is out of tune , loves this roommate who comforts me when I cough at night, also loved that she was now able ‘to see’ during the Pilgrimage with her heart
Christian and Christopher – loved spending time with these sweet couple especially their volunteer work at the parish for their out-of-school youth, and how they enjoy each others company teasing each other and caring for each other once in a while; also plans to study at Don Bosco yehey!!! I’ll be looking forward to see you classmates…
Tito Dick and Gina – glad to meet this couple at 32 years in marriage… they amazed us as they were able to go beyond their limits for the trip amidst all kinds of pains and discomforts during the trip and with their love for food =); also appreciated sharing a facebook call with their daughter while at Tiberias
Jenna – loved her fashion sense and although she also got sick during the middle of the trip she bounced back thank God!, she also showed how to love each one of us although she is not a member of any of our community, would definitely not forget her story in the face of hardships in their family
Jhonsen – our official executive assistant to Fr. John =), shared how he started his journey with devotion to Mary; even he is silent at first, he will not be stopped in sharing his love for life and how the Lord found him through the Singles for Christ community where he is serving
Fr. John -sorry Fr. John loved this pic instead! our official chaplain for the pilgrimage – he surprised us when he attempted to dance like Bubut and says he was a soccer player =) Loved the times spent with him touring the old city of Jerusalem…
Kate -got to know her with our sidetrip in streets of old city of Jerusalem with Fr. John and Wenks! She is a very sweet and caring pretty lady even she is fast- fast walker, fast eater and fast note-taker =) Enjoyed spending time taking pictures and having conversations with her.
Megan -the youngest in our group! who could say that she is the bravest?! Yes she was able to withstand the Israeli checkpoint at the border crossing. She also learned to serve during the Holy Mass and also possesses a pure heart…
Tita Paz -my official friend during in the trip! Enjoyed her stories of how she built her travel agency and how she helps other people experience God through her business of pilgrimage tours… hope I can do the same like yours Tita Paz in the future!
Rob -husband of Cech, surprised me when he cried during one of our sharings. He consistently says that it was God’s healing power that made us through the whole pilgrimage trip and I also believed that!
Wenks -my classmate cum organizer of this pilgrimage! I’ll be forever grateful to her for inviting me to this trip even though we are not of the same community- I’ll still look up to her as the one the Lord sent to announce this journeying to His Homeland. Super love you Wenks!
I would forever treasure this wonderful experience of getting to know Jesus through my co-pilgrims and this emotions I am experiencing right now of longing and missing them means only because I have loved them all…
Love that is now meant to share with whom Jesus would like me to share with- with full of rejoicing and gladness…
I thank You Lord, with all my heart;
before the gods to You I sing.
I bow low toward Your temple;
I praise Your name for Your fidelity and love.
For You have exalted over all
Your name and Your promise.