The Journal of Maronite Studies
is the official journal of the
Maronite Research Institute
ISSN# 1526-5145 since 1997

The Maronite Research Institute
Guita G. Hourani
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Volume 3 No.4 October 1999

"Let Us Set Out In The Footsteps Of Christ"

Pope John Paul II has invited the world Christian community "to set out spiritually upon the path of the Jubilee pilgrimage. [to] make that inward journey which seeks to move us away from whatever, in us and around us, is contrary to God's law, so as to be able to encounter Christ fully; professing our faith in Him; and receiving the abundance of His mercy".

His Holiness invited us to travel "to the places that have been especially important in the history of salvation." He made this appeal to us in his address "Pilgrimage to the Sites Linked to the History of Salvation", on the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June, 1999.

His Holiness is planning to make a Jubilee pilgrimage to pray in some of "the places which are closely linked to the Incarnation of the Word of God." He said that physically and geographically, these sacred lands "are inseparable from the truth of the human flesh assumed by the Word."

These sacred lands include beloved Lebanon. For those of us who consider it to be the Spiritual Land of the Maronites, that invitation is like a call to come home during the Jubilee, to journey to sites rich in imagery and memories -- Christ's footprints in the dust upon entering Sidon and Tyre...those of our forefathers' left in the mountain snows under the Cedars and in the Holy Valley. Forever after, we should read the Bible in a new way -- perhaps with dazzling insight that "Christ passed this way! His Mother rested here!"

Let us all undertake the inward journey and try to make the outward one possible as well. Maybe these holy sites will have the same impact that Jerusalem had on His Holiness and we will rejoice in saying with him "I will walk away as a witness who testifies across the millennia."

Guita G. Hourani

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