The Holy Land: A Resounding of Place and Person

Authored by Francis Etheredge in Issue #35.4 of The Sower

Angelo Cardinal Scola wrote of conversion to Christ and conversion to reality.[1] Just as conversion opens our eyes to the ugliness of sin and the beauty of grace, so it overflows in opening our hearts to the many and various splendours of creation.

The significance of place, geography and archaeology were subjects, I have to confess, that I accepted in principle—but, you might say, without enthusiasm and insight. In this brief reflection on a recent visit to the Holy Land, I want to consider the catechesis of place. The Holy Land is a testimony to the living interrelationship of archaeology, geography and the incarnation of the history of salvation. Just as God “in his wisdom … brought it about that the New should be hidden in the Old and that the Old should be made manifest in the New,”[2] so, simple as it might seem, there is an interplay between the events of Christ’s life and the historical locations in which they took place.

Briefly, then, I want to touch on three categories of place: first, those graced by the presence of the Holy Family, Christ and His disciples; second, the place of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor; and, third, Jerusalem, the City of King David and the place of the Paschal Mystery of Christ.

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