Promised Land seen from Mt. Nebo

Path of the Patriarch (part 3)

Mass in a Jordanian hotel room

Mass in a Jordanian hotel room

While in Jordan, we did not have access to a Catholic church for offering our daily traditional Latin Mass.  Fr. Slaton, instead, made use of his Greek corporale and traveling Mass kit to offer the Holy Sacrifice in the Christian hotel where we stayed.  In this picture, Father celebrates Mass on the feast of the Most Holy Rosary, which commemorates the miraculous Christian victory over the Turkish invasion fleet at Lepanto.  As we celebrate Mass, the Muslim call to prayer cries in the background, a stark reminder of what might have happened to Europe and the West had it not been for the intervention of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Indeed, what might happen yet the way things are going with the culture of death and contraceptive mentality of our society.

Fr. Slaton, Br. Joseph and Br. Alexey on Mt. Nebo, with Promised Land behind them.

Fr. Slaton, Br. Joseph and Br. Alexey on Mt. Nebo, with Promised Land behind them.

Later, we traveled to Mount Nebo, where Moses stood gazing into the distance, seeing before him the Promised Land.  Yet, he was forbidden by God to cross into it himself because of his transgression in the desert (Dt 34:1-8).  Having led his people through the desert, it was here that the great Patriarch died, his life having come to its fullness.  The Promised Land represents Heaven, and it would take one even greater than Moses to bring us there.  Only the man without fault, prefigured in the Old Testament by Josue (whose name in Hebrew is the same as ‘Jesus’), could lead Israel there through the waters of the river Jordan, which prefigure baptism in Christ.  Through baptism, we leave behind the wilderness of sin and enter upon the Promised Land of sanctifying grace.

The Biblical description of the location where Moses stood is detailed, its geographical landmarks remain unchanged.  Here we see, as Moses the Patriarch did, the natural oasis of the city of Jericho in the distance just across the river Jordan, the gateway to the Promised Land.

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