Pilgrimages to significant holy places were once an essential part of the life of the Christian. In the early Christian centuries every Christian was encouraged (and even expected) to journey to Jerusalem.
In every encounter, local and afar, with people of every age and at every stage of life, the struggles and joys of people are remarkably similar.
Humans too often make the fatal mistake of separating body and soul, yet our deep desire is for unity of body and soul.
Both readings are personal favourites and every time I hear them and ponder them these texts speak to me in new and powerful ways.
Too often we settle for an existence of lurching from one satisfaction to the next.
I know a few people, including several Food For Faith followers, who are nearing death. Some of these are elderly and accepting that their life on earth is naturally coming to an end. Others, well before their time, are struggling with poor health and living with diagnoses of terminal illness.