Thursday, May 26, 2022

My Pilgrimage Experience 2022

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Spanish translation 👉

A month ago, I began an amazing pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The experience unfolded biblical stories in front of me, and the people I have met, made it unforgettable.

I have to admit that the country that I traveled had 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 trip was a reality.

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 was 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. 

During the first days, I was able to eat the Middle Eastern Street  Food, such as Falafel and Shawarma. We visit the Shepherd’s Field and ate the traditional Upside-down food. In Nazareth, we tried food from the times of Jesus: lentil soup, pita bread, sour yogurt 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)

According to the guide, Bader Rabadi, the Jerusalem Cross has different meanings and interpretations:
1. The cross in the center represents Jesus and the four smaller crosses represent the four gospels.
2. The cross in the middle represents Jerusalem where Christianity started and the smaller crosses represent the four corners of the world where Christianity spread.
3. The cross represents the five wounds of Jesus.

We visited the Lake of Tiberiades or Sea of Galilee. I learned 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. 

Read more about it👉

Maritza Martinez Mejia


Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.


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

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