Tuesday, May 10, 2022

My Pilgrimage Experience 2022

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Spanish translation 👉http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflexion-sobre-mi-visita-israel.html?m=1

I have to admit that the country that I am traveling to has been on my bucket list since I worked in the tourism industry in the 90s., but I was never allowed to travel because of the endless conflicts in the Middle East. Ironically, the world is still in conflict, but in  spite of everything, life goes on and the pilgrimage begins.

The Fifth Gospel Experience 

Thanks to the flexibility of my work as a substitute teacher and writer, plus the support of my husband, I was  able to make this journey as a "Scholar." Yes, I am studying theology for educators at the Catholic Distance University (CDU) where I am about to finish my master's degree. This trip is part of my elective class and it is a great honor to travel, not as a tourist, but as a pilgrim. 


I am so excited to have met in person, the well known theology professors Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio and two of my online classmates with whom I have exchanged knowledge for the past two years and now we are exploring  the  "Fifth Gospel" along with other pilgrims. 

I am being able to experience the Middle Eastern  Food, such as Falafel, Shawarma, Upside-down food, the Nazareth experience food and the delicious Hammus.  I learned that this dish contains a biblical reference from the story with Ruth and Boaz when they met in Bethlehem. 'Come hither, and eat of the bread, and dip thy morsel in the vinegar” (Ruth 2-14)



I learned also how to dance the traditional Jewish folk song for celebrations called "Hava Nagila" (Hebrew: הבה נגילה Havah Nagilah) meaning "Let us rejoice. "
There is so much to share and meditate on this cultural and spiritual experience. Our differences may divide us but our similarities rejoice us.

Everything was perfect until I got Covid positive before returning to USA and ended in Quarantine in Israel and facing an ordial. 
Expect more about it! Visit 👉

 http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/life-is-full-of-surprises-las-sorpresas.html?m=1

Maritza Martinez Mejia


Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk

Monday, May 9, 2022

Reflexión sobre mi visita a Israel 2022

 Experiencia LuzDelMes en Israel  

For English visit 👉http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=1

 

Tengo que reconocer que el país que voy a conocer estaba en mi lista de deseos desde que trabajaba en la industria del turismo en los 90s, pero nunca se me permitió viajar por los conflictos que siempre existieron en el Medio Oriente.  Irónicamente, el mundo sigue en conflictos, y a pesar de todo, la vida continúa y la peregrinación por Israel inicia. 

 

Gracias a la flexibilidad de mi trabajo como profesora substituta y escritora, más el apoyo de mi esposo, he podido realizar este recorrido como “Scholar.” Sí, estoy estudiando teología para educadores de la Universidad Católica a Distancia (CDU) donde estoy por terminar mi maestría. Este viaje es parte de mi clase electiva y es un gran honor viajar, no como turista, sino como peregrina para explorar Israel con otra perspectiva. 

 


Ha sido muy interesante conocer en persona al distinguido teólogo y escritor Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio. Al igual que a mis  compañeros de clase en línea con los que he intercambiado conocimientos por los últimos dos años. Con ellos y un grupo de peregrinos iniciamos la peregrinación al “Quinto Evangelio” en Tierra Santa



Ha sido emocionante comer la comida tradicional del Medio Oriente como el Falafel, Shawarma, y el legendario Hummus (puré con garbanzos cocidos, pasta pasta de sésamo, limón, ajo y aceite de oliva) que tiene referencia bíblica en la historia de  Ruth y Boaz cuando se conocieron en Jerusalén. (Leer Ruth 2-14).

Nazareth experience 


También aprendí a bailar la tradicional canción Judía para celebraciones llamada "Hava Nagila" que significa "Alegremonos". Es tanto lo que hay para compartir y reflexionar sobre este viaje que hace viva las historias bíblicas aunque algunos lugares son auténticos otros no. 

 


Me fascinó visitar la ciudad de Haiffa la que ha usado el arte para encontrar caminos de paz.
Todo perfecto hasta que me salió positivo el test de Covid antes de retomar a USA. Así que  tuve que estar en Cuarentena en Israel. 

¡Espera más reflexiones!

 

Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

 

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.


Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Life is full of surprises - Las sorpresas que te da la vida

After the most spectacular nine days visiting Holy places in Jerusalem, archeological sites, in Magdala, exploring the Jordan River, boat riding the Sea of Galilee and floating at the Dead Sea, on my last day in Haifa, I got a positive Covid test twice. Now I can't return to the USA, yet until the next five days.

FIRST DAY IN QUARANTINE - May 5th

So, plan B is in action. I will stay in Quarantine  in Haifa enjoying the spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea while settling down all the marvelous pilgrimage experiences I had.

Shalom Y'all! 🤗

SECOND DAY IN QUARANTINE: - May 6th

Soaking in the nine days experience in Holy Land. Ironically, we have a hard time finding medical services and good food at this luxurious hotel, Dan Panorama in Haifa . Thank you all for your prayers! 🙏

Thanks God, I'm fine! 😇

THIRD DAY IN QUARANTINE - May 7th
Today we will try to change locations in order to receive better service and visit a doctor. We have to recover in another place. Thank you for your love. ❤️

FOURTH DAY IN QUARANTINE - May 8th
We moved to Holy Land Hotel in Jerusalem to receive medical attention and be closer to Tel Aviv to prepare our return back to USA. Thanks to the generous effort of the Tour Operator, Nour Karim who brought us to the Hospital in Jerusalem, I realized that my oxygen levels are at the border line. With a good meal and rest, I will be fine. 
Thanks God we received medical care and thank you for your prayers! 🙏

Marhaban Sabah al khair

Thank you for your prayers on Mother's Day away from my children. 🙏 Special gratitude to our amazing guide, Bader Rabadi who brought me medicine, water, and a special goody. You are the best!

Thank you Larry Wallace for making me smile with chocolates and Nour Karim for taking care of us. 💕

           Shukran! Thank you! Gracias, Arigatou 🙏

FIFTH DAY IN QUARANTINE - May 9th
After a good sleep, hot food and care, my oxygen is normal. Thank you all for your prayers! 🙏 

I also have joined in silence the public worship and call to the daily prayer (adhan), five times a day: at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. It reminded myself of the Liturgy of the Hours. Thank you! I am feeling your ❤️
We appreciate all your care Holy Land Hotel. 
Heading to Tel Aviv airport. 

It was a miracle to be able to flight on time.

I made it! 😇


During difficult times, we can transform the hardships into opportunities and observe the blessings in disguise that hard times bring to us. Or we can be trapped in frustration. The choice is in your hands! 

Thank you for your prayers! 🙏I'm feeling your❤️

#LuzDelMes ✨#Quarantine
Sabah al Khair (Morning of good)


Después de nueve maravillosos días recorriendo lugares arqueológicos, religiosos, explorando el Río Jordán, navegando por el Mar de Galilea, y flotando en el Mar Muerto, llegamos a Haifa para prepararnos para el retorno a los Estados Unidos, pero salió mi test positivo dos veces con Covid. Así que inicia mi cuarentena en Israel.


PRIMER DÍA EN CUARENTENA

Ahora empiezo el plan B, bendito de Dios, quien sabe porque debo permanecer en Haifa cinco días más disfrutando la vista del mar Mediterráneo y meditando en lo vivido durante la peregrinación. 


SEGUNDO DÍA EN CUARENTENA : Asentando en mi corazón la magnífica experiencia en Tierra Santa. ¡Gracias por sus oraciones! 🙏 Estoy muy bien, pero no hemos recibido servicio médico ni buena comida. . 😭



TERCER DÍA EN CUARENTENA

Trataremos de viajar hacia Jerusalem para estar más cerca de Tel Avid, tener servicio médico, y preparar nuestro retorno a USA. Necesitamos cuidarnos. Gracias por su ❤️


CUARTO DÍA EN CUARENTENA

Nos pudimos alojar en Jerusalén gracias a la tenacidad del operador en Israel, Nour Karim, quien viajó a rescatar nos y traernos a Jerusalén para recibir mejor servicio y cuidado médico. Gracias a Dios estoy sin síntomas serios, solo un poco bajo el nivel de oxígeno. Gracias por sus oraciones.en el Día de la Madre, lejos de casa. 🤗


QUINTO DÍA EN CUARENTENA

Después de descansar, comer bien y estar con buen cuidado, mi nivel de oxígeno está mejor. Agradezco sus mensajes y oraciones. Me he unido en silencio al llamado de oración (adhan) cinco veces al día.. E recuerda la Liturgia de las Horas. Sintiendo su amor ❤️


Gracias Hotel Holy Land por sus cuidados.
Salimos al aeropuerto de Tel Avid... Y fue un verdadero milagro poder viajar.

Durante los momentos difíciles podemos transformar las cargas en oportunidades y ver las bendiciones ocultas que nos dan los desafíos. O podemos quedarnos contemplando la frustración. La opción está en tus manos. 

My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=

¡Gracias por sus oraciones!🌷 #LuzDelMes 🌠

ACTIVIDADES GRATIS EN: www.luzdelmes.com

Maritza Martínez Mejía

Mother, Author, Educator, Translator and Publisher
Member: FWA, MCBD Board of AdvisorsANLMI Delegate
International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.
Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 10

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel

Wednesday, May 4, Day 10:

MAGDALA-MEGIDDO-HAIFA

We left the  place where Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen (Matthew 4:19)

We headed to Megiddo, which is named in the Book of Revelation as the setting of future battles for the forces of good and evil. It's for archeological treasure. It has revealed at least twenty cities built one on top of the other.  It's south east of Haifa, a major port and industrial city. 

We arrived at the hotel in Dan Panorama Haifa to have our last dinner before traveling to Tel Aviv and prepare to return back to USA.

My pilgrimage experience ended with a Positive Covid test twice... Now, plan B... Stay in Quarantine in Israel for five more days. 

Expect more about it!

My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 9

 LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Tuesday, May 3, Day 9: SEA OF GALILEE - JORDAN RIVER 

This morning, we stopped at the Church of the Primacy of Peter, where Christ confirmed Peter as Head of the Church. (Matthew 16:18). We visited Capernaum, now in ruins but once a thriving town where Peter lived and where much of the public ministry of Christ took place. (Mathew 4:18-22)




We continued to the  Mount of Beatitudes, where Christ taught the Eight Beatitudes to His Disciples (Matthew 5: 1-12). At this place, we celebrated Mass and I read the First Reading in honor of my father on the Day of the Holy Cross.



We proceeded to Tabgha, one of the most important sites in Galilee, the place where Jesus feeds five thousand. (Matthew 14:13-21). In some homilies, I have heard that it was a "miracle of sharing,"but I believe in the narrative of all four Gospels, Jesus fed a huge  crowd with a few loaves of bread and some fish


Later, we visit Mt. Tabor, place of Jesus’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9).  We left the bus and transferred to a taxi for the ascent to the top. We visited the site of the Transfiguration and celebrated Mass in this marvelous place. Mass: 11:00 am. 


Nearby, seven freshwater springs flow into the Lake Gennesaret known also as Sea of Galilee (not a sea, but a lake). Its name Heptapegon, from Greek, means "Place of the Seven Springs." It marks where Jesus called the first disciples. (Luke 5:1-11)

Then, we proceeded to Bethany on the east side of the Jordan River, where Jesus was  baptized by John the Baptist before His public ministry. (Luke 2:21-22) (John 2:28). We renewed our Baptismal vows. 

Expect more about it!

My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk

Monday, May 2, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 8

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Monday, May 2, Day 8: NAZARETH – CANA

We spent the day in Nazareth and visited the Basilica of the Annunciation enclosing the remains of the house where the Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary to announce that she was to become the mother of God. (Luke 1:26-38) We celebrated Mass at this beautiful Basilica.



We proceeded to Nazareth Village to learn more about daily life in the times of Jesus. It was an emotional day since my father passed away 28 years ago. It was an emotional day. 


Later, we drove to the Wedding Church at Cana, where Christ performed his first miracle (John 2:1-11) and the Vow renewal at Church of the first miracle. 
At Canna where Jesus turned the water into wine 
John 2:1-11



We returned to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Magdala. 

Expect more about it!

My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk