5 Places I’m Looking Forward to Visiting on Our 2020 Holy Land Pilgrimage

5 Places I’m Looking Forward to Visiting on Our 2020 Holy Land Pilgrimage

An overview of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.

Christopher West will join Father Thomas Loya, Father Justin Brady and Jason Clark to lead an 11-day pilgrimage to the Holy Land — Feb. 15-25, 2020 (with an optional extension to Jordan and Amman Feb. 25-27). Below are five places he is excited to visit. The complete itinerary and registration form can be found here.


This is where the “scandal of the hic” took place.  What the heck does that mean?  Verbum caro factum est hic… (The Word was made flesh here).  The utterly astonishing, mind-blowing scandal of the Christian faith is that the eternal, omnipresent God “limited” himself and became a tiny embryo in a woman’s womb in Nazareth – a specific place at a specific time: the “scandal of the hic!”  I’m very much looking forward to entering that scandal more deeply!


“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that you sucked,” shouted a woman in the crowd when Jesus was preaching (Lk 11:27).  By doing so, she called to mind the astounding and glorious mystery that took place in Bethlehem: the Son, eternally begotten of the Father, has now “in the fullness of time,” been “born of a woman” (Gal 4:4).


Oh, oh, oh … the mystery revealed at the wedding in Cana!!  The New Adam calls the New Eve, “Woman” just as the first Adam did.  We have here a revelation of the new creation.  We have here the promise that man and woman are not left to hearts “run out of wine” (God’s love), but can drink deeply of God’s “new wine” unto holy intoxication!  Can’t wait to be in Cana and drink deeply!

The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth, built over the site where Mary gave her Yes to God and the Word was made flesh.


“It is consummated,” said Jesus from the cross on Calvary.  What is consummated?  The Marriage of heaven and earth, of Christ and his Church.  I want to be there.  I want to stand there.  I want to say YES to being regenerated through the blood and water that flowed from the Bridegroom’s heart in that very place.

The Empty Tomb

The Enemy’s enmity and hatred has been aimed from the beginning at woman and her ability to bear offspring (see Gen 3:15).  He wants to turn the womb (the place of life) into a tomb (a place of death).  The good news of the Gospel is that Christ has turned the tomb (the place of death) back into a womb (the place of life).  Christ was born of a virgin womb and born again of a virgin tomb.  I want to be there at that virgin earth, the place of the New Eden, where the New Adam came forth from the ground just like the first Adam: naked without shame!!