Contemplating presence

I’ve just come back from a pilgrimage in the Holy Land. We spent some time in Jerusalem, but it was at the Sea of Galilee that I had a greater sense of presence.

Ignatius of Loyola wanted to go to the Holy Land to touch the physical places that Jesus had touched. The image I have in my head is of Ignatius at the site of the Ascension (or at least that which is claimed to be such…) touching the rock. I was more aware of Ignatius in Jerusalem than Jesus.

In Jerusalem I had very little sense of walking where Jesus walked. Even the mass inside the tomb in the Holy Sepulchre – touching the rock on which he was supposed to be laid was somehow silent.

But as I sat with my feet in the water of the Sea of Galilee, I couldn’t help but think about the water molecules. It is possible that water molecules that were in this body of water 2000 years ago are still present today.

As I looked across the lake to hills of the Golan Heights, that view would have been much the same. My feet in the water, which itself is the same and not the same as it was then.

It was in the water molecules that presence came. And with presence, for a moment, peace.

5 thoughts on “Contemplating presence

  1. Very special Mags. Thanks for sharing. I believe that each person will become aware in different ways and in different places x

  2. Years ago I read a scientist’s calculation of how many oxygen molecules Leonardo Da Vinci breathed in his lifetime – and what the chances were that any of us today might breathe one of the same molecules. The conclusion he reached was that the total was so great that we probably did so with EVERY breath. It wouldn’t surprise me that something similar was possible with Galilee’s water molecules. God’s grace would certainly be that lavish for all His children.

  3. It’s so incredibly awe-inspiring how God touches each person in a way that is unique to his/her understanding. Blessings as you sit with the experiences of your pilgrimage.

  4. Great. And thanks for sharing. What an experience! To have washed your feet where Jesus washed his feet. Then to have peace returned to you. When the disciples had peace returned to them it was on their dusting their sandals. Sure the peace will live long with you as you share it with pilgrims on the way and have their feet washed in a special way.

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