As spending we mentioned in the last blog post, we celebrated the feast of Corpus Christi (“Body of Christ”) this past Sunday before heading to Nitzana. We got to do a procession around the site of Emmaus with the whole community and it was such a beautiful experience because Christ was truly in our midst through the Eucharist.
First of all, on Saturday evening after dinner, led by servers carrying torches, we brought the Blessed Sacrament down to the ruins of the Byzantine basilica, where the altar of Cleopas’ house was decorated and illuminated. Father exposed the Sacrament, and we chanted the Office of Readings to begin the night of adoration. We each took turns an hour before the Lord.
On Sunday, we walked for a couple hours along the Way of Emmaus, passing by the ancient spring and canals of Emmaus (which means spring of waters), stopping periodically for moments of Scripture reading and journaling. Back at the community we celebrated Vespers and began a procession. Fr. Franz exposed the sacrament, and then everyone followed behind him as we walked down to the ancient ruins of Emmaus. The first station that had been prepared with an altar was at one of the 1st century Jewish tombs. Here we celebrated Christ’s glorious Resurrection from the dead with prayer and a reflection from Pope Benedict VXI to help us enter into this mystery of great love.
Next, we processed to the ruins of the Basilica, which was where the two disciples in the Gospel story of Emmaus came to recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread. So as we adored Christ on the altar at this station, and with Pope John XXIII, we reflected on the importance of how the Word of God was made flesh in Christ Jesus, and how we need to recognize Jesus’ true presence in the Eucharist.
For the last station, we made our way back up the hill and stopped at the final altar at the courtyard well to adore our Lord. We listened to a reflection from Pope Francis, and then all got on our knees as Fr. Franz brought us face to face with the Eucharist. We were all singing praise and definitely felt the power of the Holy Spirit with us.
What a beautiful gift it was to walk with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist in a place where his own feet walked here on earth!