DAY ONE: Pilgrimage Perspectives


As the Papal Pilgrim arrives in Jordan the spiritual nature of his journey seems overshadowed by the pomp and ceremony of a state occasion, the visit of the Head of Vatican City State to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. However, this impression is quickly transformed by the warm welcome of His Majesty King Abdullah, who speaks of his own recent religious pilgrimage to Mecca, and the address of the Holy Father himself. Speaking of his journey Pope John Paul II called it "a religious Jubilee pilgrimage to commemorate the Two Thousandth Anniversary of the Birth of Jesus Christ." It is pilgrimage, he notes, to a land "sanctified by the presence of Jesus Himself, by the presence of Moses, Elijah and John the Baptist, and of the saints and martyrs of the early Church." Only in this context can we understand the meaning of this apostolic journey, both for the Holy Father himself and for us.

Mt. Nebo:

From this Moabite peak Moses looked upon the land which God had promised to the patriarch Abraham, and which on Mt. Sinai "I AM WHO AM" (Ex 3:14) had promised he would lead the People Israel. At the beginning of his pilgrimage Pope John Paul II acknowledged this inheritance and prayed God's blessings on both the people and the land. More than that, he recalled not only God's fidelity to those promises, but their culmination which this Great Jubilee celebrates, the coming of I AM to live among us (John 1:14). For the Christian pilgrim Moses is a type, a foreshadowing, of Christ. The Father gave the Law through Moses, but the grace and truth, the Law of Love, was given through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

March 20th, 2000 ( EWTNews)