Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the Kingdom of Jordan yesterday, the first stop on his pilgrimage to the Holy Land(s). This morning he is standing on Mount Nebo.
This is where Moses, at the end of the 40 years of wandering in the desert, stood and looked longingly across to the Promised Land.
Deuteronomy 34:1-6 says
"And Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negev, and the Plain, that is, the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, as far as Tsoar.
And the Lord said to him, 'This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, "I will give it to your descendants." I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.'
So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord, and he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Bethpeor; but no man knows the place of his burial to this day."
Once I wandered into Vatican territory--the Pontifical Institute Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center. In a showcase were photos of the last papal visit in 2000.
Please click to enlarge their photo of the previous Pope, John Paul II, and read the poetic and prophetic words he spoke on Mt. Nebo!
The remarks made this morning by Pope Benedict at the ancient basilica on Mt. Nebo are already published here.
He concluded with this wish:
"May our encounter today inspire in us a renewed love for the canon of Sacred Scripture and a desire to overcome all obstacles to the reconciliation of Christians and Jews in mutual respect and cooperation in the service of that peace to which the word of God calls us!"