Father Peter’s reflection: ‘Saints and sinners rub shoulders in these streets’

I asked the priests in the group to share their some of their reflections on the pilgrimage. Here’s one from Third Order Regular of St. Francis Father Peter Lyons. – CG

Priests from the Baltimore area stop for prayer along the Via Dolorosa (Way of Suffering or Way of Grief) during Stations of the Cross in the streets of Jerusalems Old City. Vendors

In the narrow, crowded streets of the Old City of Jerusalem the sacred and the secular come face to face. For me it brought home once again the reality of the Incarnation, that Jesus really took on our humanity and pitched his tent right here in the messiness of this world of ours and this life of mine. Saints and sinners rub shoulders in these streets. Some are carrying a cross or praying the rosary or singing hymns. Others are selling fruits and vegetables, tacky souvenirs, T-shirts with crude sayings – while cripples and beggars sit by the side of the road and, more than likely, a few thieves and prostitutes ply their trades as well. And slowly the truth sinks in, that God is the God of all of them. All are his children. He loves each of them – each of us – maybe the prostitutes and beggars more than those we might label as righteous. And the Christ who came among us has commissioned us to continue to deliver this message. This is the mystery of faith which we are so privileged to celebrate, and which came alive once more as we walked in his footsteps in the Holy Land. Fr. Peter Lyons, TOR Pastor, St. Ann Parish, St. Wenceslaus Parish, Baltimore Oct. 26, 2010

Father Peter Lyons (white shirt, at left) participates in the Way of the Cross with the pilgrimage of priests from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The prayerful procession wended its way through the narrow streets of Jerusalem

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Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.