On our Level 2 pilgrimage last January, we walked to the top of Mount Arbel where a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee was awaiting us (pictured). Many of us who had been on a previous pilgrimage at the College could identify from afar different sites we had visited: Magdala, Capernaum, Tabgha … Sites where prayers have been offered for ages, through good and ill, where Christian pilgrims of the 21st century walk in the footsteps of pilgrims of the third or fourth century and … of Jesus and his disciples.
Mount Arbel has been the site of many deaths, but now offers the most breathtaking and peaceful view. On this day, as we remember John Donne (in the Anglican calendar), ‘Death, be not proud’ comes to mind. Death definitely does not prevail in Christian thinking.
All pilgrims who come leave a part of themselves behind: it can be a graffito, in the form of a cross, a boat (yes), a name … or a prayer. It reminds us of our connectedness with each other throughout space and time. As John Donne also wrote:
‘No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.’

We are all ‘involved in humankind’, and perhaps we feel it more powerfully at this time.