“As of now I ask you to pray for this pilgrimage.”

(News.va)  By now most people have heard that Pope Francis plans to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land this May.  May 24-26, 2014 to be exact.  

The Pope plans to visit Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem during his pilgrimage.  That is a lot to see in two days; not to mention several ecumenical meetings he plans to have.  (My guess is that his travel will be expedited.  He may be exempt from having to show his passport at the Wall separating Jerusalem from Bethlehem.)  

Chances are slim that in two short days Fr. Peter, President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land will meet the Pope but there may be a chance that the Custos of the Holy Land, Fr. Pizzaballa will offer a welcome to His Holiness.

(If the traffic delays in Bethlehem during one of Secretary of State John Kerry’s visits this past Fall were any indicator of what will most likely be an even worse traffic nightmare during the Pope’s visit, May 24-26 may not be the best time to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land for the rest of us.)  

What does the Pope ask of us?  “As of now I ask you to pray for this pilgrimage,” he said at his audience.  And pray we will.