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Friday, July 3, 2015

Since the new light rail train in Jerusalem has opened, the bus lines have changed their numbers and I'm still not used to the new numbers yet. I wanted to go to a town called Ein Kerem.  This is the place of the Visitation of Elizabeth and Mary and also the birthplace of John the Baptist.  But I ended up going on the upper road looking down on the town and ended up at the Hadassah Hospital.  It wasn't all bad. Because this is the place where Marc Chagall's famous windows of the 12 tribes of Israel are located. In the hospital's synagogue is one of the great masterpieces in the history of art.  So while I got off track a little something good came of it.

After being there a little while, I back tracked and finally got on the right bus with the help of some young Israelis. When arrived at the small town, I went to the Church of the Visitation. It is on a very steep hill. Even cars are not allowed to the let alone buses. So as scripture says, Mary went to the hill country, they weren't kidding.  I counted the steps coming down, there are 109.  The Church sits on the site where Mary met Elizabeth after Mary left Nazareth because she was pregnant with Jesus.  They met at a well where Elizabeth was getting water for the day. It's certainly interesting that there are so many stories of people meeting people or angels at wells or with water in the scriptures.

The other Catholic church in this town is the birthplace of John the Baptist. Also celebrating Zechariah naming his son John and receiving his gift of speech back.  But more importantly this is the birth of two very special prayers that we have in our Catholic religion, the Magnificat and Canticle of Zechariah.  In this obscure little town wonderful things happened.  So if we open ourselves up to the working of God in our lives great things can happen also. We might have to take a few detours for those things to happen but if you trust and open yourself up to God many great things to happen in our lives.

So don't let the little or big detours get in way of getting to your final goal.    

Below is a photo of the well in the lower Church where from tradition says the pregnant Mary and Elizabeth met.


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