Looking for Jesus in the Holy Land

By Christopher Gunty The Catholic Review

“On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, ‘Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.” ’ ” (Mk 16:5-7)

Today, we will visit the Mount of Olives, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Way of the Cross and the Tomb of the Holy Sepulcher. We will see the place where the angel spoke these words to the first disciples. A thought struck me this morning upon waking: The angel was essentially telling Jesus’ followers, “Don’t look for the Lord where he was; look for him where he is.” Look for him where his teaching comes alive in the people he taught, look for him where his message inflames the hearts of those who believe in him. For a long, long time, I have desired to come to this land so that I could follow in the footsteps of Christ, the Apostles and his early followers. And now I wonder if it’s going to be necessary. Do I need to look for the Lord where he was? “He has been raised; he is not here.” What I hope to see and learn here is what shaped his life and the lives of his followers. I hope to be inspired by the places we see so that I can better understand the Scriptures. And I hope that I realize anew that I see Christ every day in my sisters and brothers – in the people of this land, in the people I encounter as I do my work as a Catholic journalist. You see them, too. Your family and friends, those with whom you work, even then inspiring stories of faith and survival of the Chilean miners who are being rescued as I write this. The face of Christ is present to us, if only we look. “He is going before you…; you will see him, as I told you.”

Catholic Review

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