The word for pilgrimage in Hebrew that can be translated “sojourn” implies that we can be on pilgrimage without physically moving to a new place. Can you think of a pilgrimage in your own life where you moved from one place to another emotionally, spiritually, or vocationally without actually leaving your place of residence? Spend a little time remembering that pilgrimage and how you felt God was present then. Perhaps in hind-sight you may see God’s presence and guidance in a different way than you did as you were on that pilgrimage.
As you think about the different Biblical pilgrimages that are explored during the seasons of the Church Year, are there certain journeys or pilgrimages that especially speak to you?
Some pilgrimages begin in a place of stability or joy and move to an uncertain and possibly threatening future. Some pilgrimages begin in exile and move toward home. Some pilgrimages begin with a strong sense of mission and move toward people and places that are in need of that mission. Some pilgrimages start somewhere and seem to go on forever without making clear progress. As we begin this time of pilgrimage together, where do you think we are starting: as a diocese; as your parish; in your own life? Where does it feel like the pilgrimage may lead: our diocese; your parish; yourself?
Pilgrims often travel with companions. Is there someone in your parish or in another part of the diocese that you would like to have as a companion in this pilgrimage? If so, contact that person and see how you might share this pilgrimage together.
We have a quite a few young people in our diocese who have gone on pilgrimage as part of their Journey to Adulthood program. Consider finding a few youth who have been on a pilgrimage and ask them what they learned. What might they have to teach us about pilgrimage?