Celebrating New Beginnings — St. John the Baptist and a Return to Pilgrimage

St. John the Baptist has become a symbol of renewal, new beginnings, and how we celebrate those special times.

There are times in our lives when we feel like we are entering into a new era. When the expectation of new beginnings brings us joy with God’s presence in our lives. In many ways we are all collectively experiencing this joy right now as we return to being with each other, to travel and new adventures.

As we go through this time of expectation and experiencing the world in new ways, it’s the perfect time to remember the birth of St. John the Baptist. We can get only a faint taste of the feeling of joy and expectation that Mary and Elizabeth felt by receiving God’s gift, but a taste nonetheless. 

 

Joy and Expectation: the Birth of St. John the Baptist

June 24th is when we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist (symbolically, it is six months before Christmas as he was born six months before Jesus). But even before he was born he was filled with joy at the coming of Christ. After Mary becomes pregnant she goes to visit her relative Elizabeth, who was six months along with John the Baptist. Even in the womb, John “leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44). Elizabeth, too, was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (1:41). 

St. John the Baptist was chosen by God to lead the way for the coming of Christ. And when we read this story we get a sense of the extraordinary joy of what’s to come, and of God’s powerful work in their lives. In that way, St. John the Baptist has become a symbol of renewal, new beginnings, and how we celebrate those special times. 

 

New Beginnings: Returning to Pilgrimage

Catholics all over are currently experiencing a unique time of renewed hope and seeking God in new ways. Travel is opening up, people are once again meeting in person with their friends, family, and spiritual communities. It is a time of joyfully anticipating how God will work in our lives in new ways, and how we can trust in his timing. 

Pilgrimage is one of those ways in which we explore the sacred, and experience renewal as we actively seek out God’s presence. Being on a pilgrimage is often a life-changing moment. Many people feel more connected to God and his story in a way they haven’t before. In that way, it’s very much a way that God comes down to earth to meet us. And like John the Baptist, we can revel in expectation, and thank God for what he is about to do. 

 

Honoring St. John the Baptist in the Holy Land

Speaking of pilgrimage and St. John the Baptist, if you visit the Holy Land you can celebrate both! Located in Ein Karem, the Church of St. John the Baptist is built on the site where it’s believed he was born. The beautiful church and monastery is built on centuries-old structures from the Roman, Byzantine, and Early Muslim periods. They even discovered ceramic dating back to the time when Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John lived. When you visit, after walking inside and viewing the altar and cupola you can walk downstairs to the cave of St. John the Baptist’s birth, giving thanks for such an important life and witness of God’s work in this world.

 

If you’re looking forward to going on a pilgrimage again, you don’t have to wait long. Discover the many places we’re traveling to soon and start planning! In the meantime, we can all celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist, the one who reminds us of the joy of Christ to come. 

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

A travler in the middle of a city after covid

10 Ways COVID Has Changed the Traveler’s Mindset

“Rather than just thinking about what destination they want to see, there is a greater effort to think about things like how that trip affects the people and places travelers are visiting, how much they’re spending, and why they’re doing it.”

Two pilgrims looking out atop a mountain as a metaphor for becoming the best versions of themselves.

Becoming the Best Version of Yourself Through Pilgrimage

“Pilgrimage is a chance to pray, build fellowship, and worship in a space designed to heighten your awareness of the spiritual. It’s why many pilgrims discover that they gain a new sense of what God is calling them to do, whether it’s a relationship, a career, or difficulty they’re facing.”

×
×

Cart

PEACE OF MIND

All bookings for 2021 pilgrimages are now backed by our 100% money-back guarantee and no change fees.