Here you will see the streets of Jerusalem compared a month ago and today. After a gorgeous video showing the inside of the Tomb, watch the closing of the Holy Sepulchre.

Watch the sad moment when the doors are locked and the custodian, my friend Omar, walks away. The movie was taken by my friend Jeries in Jerusalem who manages the church for the Franciscans.

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I put up a post a few days ago with a video of my talk in Ephesus about Mary being Queen of Heaven and an Intercessor for the people of God’s kingdom.

Someone wrote to object saying,

It is interesting Steve, as to what you left out in your reference to 1 Kings 2:19 , Solomon’s Mother did indeed come into the throne room, Solomon did indeed, rise and bow and have her sit at his right hand. But the Queen Mother’s request was in fact denied, and the first person to go to the Queen Mother with his request was put to death that very day! So much for taking requests to the Queen Mother, doesn’t always work!

I responded,

There are two ways to see the intercession of Bathsheba: 1) a naive request to the king for Adonijah and 2) a subtle and wise exposing of Adonijah’s continued deceit to claim the throne. Let me explain a bit. If we assume the first possible scenario, Solomon is a type of Christ yet Solomon was a sinner. Solomon’s sin does not detract from Jesus’ perfection as the quintessential king of Israel and the Universe.

Every king in Israel/Judah had a queen but it was never his wife; it was his mother. She was called giborah, great lady and Queen Mother.

Being a sinner and flawed did not detract from the fact that Solomon was a type of Christ. Neither does Bathsheba’s sins and flaws detract from her being a prefigurement of Mary. Solomon and his mother were sinners; Jesus and his mother were not. What Solomon and his mother failed to do; Jesus and his mother do perfectly.

You could also note that Jesus said explicitly that the only sign he would give was the sign of Jonah, but Jonah was rebellious; does that mean Jesus’s crucifixion and burial was a result of his own rebellion?  Of course not–that would be an improper use of typology.

Also, if you use Bathsheba’s indiscretion to diminish Mary, then you must be consistent and use Solomon’s sins to diminish Jesus. Queen mothers were flawed intercessors; the Mother of God is an intercessor without flaw.

But if we consider the second possibility, the second way to interpret the historical and political situation behind this event we see Bathsheba as being very wise and discerning.

It is possible and even likely that Bathsheba was wiser than she is normally given credit for and made this request to expose the deceitful intents of Adonijah? Did she inform Solomon of the plot in a diplomatic way?

The taking of a king’s concubine was a political move to grasp the throne. In this scenario, Bethsheba wisely and publically exposed Adonijah’s continued plot for the throne. It ultimately brought about the assassination of the competitor for her son’s throne. As an “image” of Mary, the request can be seen as a parallel to the revealing of the Evil One and his continued attempt to displace her Son.

Sorry, I didn’t miss anything.


Legatus March 2020 Holy Land Pilgrimage

by Steve Ray on March 12, 2020

Unhappily this trip was not able to proceed because Israel, for all intents and purposes, closed their borders to all travelers including Americans. Delta also canceled our flights. We are so sorry this has inconvenienced so many, not just our pilgrims, but travelers from around the world.

UPDATE 3/12/20  Delta has now canceled their flights to Israel starting Friday, March 13. Regarding our March group, we have been given confirmation that Delta will refund our deposits for the group air. We are also working hard to get other refunds with some success. We are doing all we can to help make our pilgrims suffer as little as possible. Travel insurance is so important in times like these.

With all questions, contact our Reservations Team at 866-557-2364, or write them at FootprintsOfGod@ctscentral.net. Please be patient and polite since these are really great folks struggling under a very stressful situation.

We will be sending out an e-mail soon to our April group outlining their options. We still have time and decisions can be made. We are still hoping things blow over so we are able to go in April but we are preparing for all contingencies.

UPDATE 3/9/20  All the previous updates are now moot since Israel just announced it is closing its borders to all foreign travelers. Any foreigner arriving in Israel must go into a 2-week quarantine. Obviously, this screws up our March trip since no one can get a private home for two weeks of quarantine before starting the pilgrimage! As it is now certain that all the airlines will be discontinuing flights to and from Israel. The Israeli airlines have discontinued all international flights.

We are hoping this will be resolved by the time our April and May trips approach and we will keep everyone updated. For now, April and May groups to Israel are as scheduled.


Good-bye Indefatigable Pilgrims: 13 Days thru Jordan & Israel: Comments & Farewells

February 21, 2020

We had a great 13 days together, 14 if you count the flight over. This was like a big Bible study visiting sites that most people never see in these biblical lands. From the mountains of Gilead in the north of Jordan down through Amman and Madaba in the mountains of Moab south through the […]

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Mass at Holy Sepulchre, Visit Garden Tomb, Rossini’s and free afternoon

February 20, 2020

Today is our last day of a long pilgrimage. After four full days and Jordan and nine in Israel the trip comes to a close today and everyone heads to the airport tonight. But we started with an early morning with Mass in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre. We walked back for […]

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Holy Sepulchre, Ancient Walls, City of David Archaeology Site, Pool of Siloam, St. Stephens…

February 19, 2020

We started the day with a walking tour from the Notre Dame Center to the Holy Sepulchre. After a tour and visit there with time to pray, we walked to the Russian Church which has the ancient walls of Jerusalem proving that the Holy Sepulchre site was outside the city walls at the time of […]

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Temple Mount, Bethany, Jericho, Bethel & Satya

February 18, 2020

Another four amazing sites today. We started out on Temple Mount which is now under the control of the Muslims but where Solomon’s Temple once stood an the temple Jesus knew and loved. It is also called Mount Moriah. Then to Bethany where Jesus lived with Lazarus, Martha and Mary. It was his home and […]

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Today in 2 Parts: Mass at Bethlehem’s Milk Grotto, Abraham’s Tomb in Hebron, Herod’s Herodion and more

February 17, 2020

Well we’re off to a good start here in Jerusalem. We’re staying at the Notre Dame hotel and this morning we takeoff for Bethlehem in the south. We started at the shop so people can buy some authentic Christian olivewood and religious items. Then we had Mass at the Milk Grotto where the Holy Family […]

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Samaria, Jacob’s Well, Sebaste, Joppa and David & Goliath

February 16, 2020

Today was one of the more interesting days in our Holy Land 2 Pilgrimage. We crossed into the Palestinian West Bank and switched buses for issues of safety. It was a little tense but we judged it safe and were blessed by our decision with an amazing incursion into the West Bank.  We drove to […]

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Our Dinner at Amer Shehadeh‘s Home and the Story of the Syrian Coffee Pot

February 16, 2020

We had an incredible dinner at Amer Shehadeh‘s house in Nazareth. He invited all 53 of our group to enjoy his wife’s fantastic cooking and the beautiful ambience of their home and family. Enjoy! Oh, by the way we also got him to tell the story of the Syrian coffee pot!

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Mount Carmel, Mount Muhraka and Fire from Heaven, Akko, Nazareth and Dinner at Amer’s House

February 15, 2020

Last night was reminiscent of the gospel story when the disciples got into the boat and Jesus joined them and the waves arose and the winds blew and they were afraid for their lives. They woke Jesus and he calmed the storm. There was no rain or storm last night but the winds were howling […]

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Around the Sea All Day: Mass at Kursi, 2nd Multiplication, Bethsaida, Wine-tasting, St. Peter Fish, Chorazin and Primacy

February 14, 2020

Lots accomplished today around the Sea of Galilee. I loved giving my talks at all these sites that we visit so infrequently. Mass at Kursi where the demons were cast into the pigs (homily here), Bethsaida the home of Peter, Andrew and Philip and where Jesus healed the blind man. A tour and wine tasting […]

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First Day in Israel: Sepphoris, Caesarea Maritime & Megiddo

February 13, 2020

Tremendous day with gorgeous weather, perfect for a pilgrimage! After a delicious breakfast we started the day at Sepphoris where Jesus and Joseph went to work every day building this Roman capital city. We had Mass in the ruins of Saints Joachim and Anna Church where many believed they lived before moving to Jerusalem and […]

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Mass at Authentic Baptismal Site of Jesus; Crossing into Israel

February 12, 2020

A relaxing morning at the Marriott Hotel Resort on the Dead Sea. People enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, floating in the Dead Sea and enjoying the well-maintained pools and gardens. We boarded our bus and drove a few miles to the Hill of Elijah where the Father of the Prophets was assumed into heaven. Then to […]

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PETRA! Check it off your Bucket List…

February 11, 2020

For many people, today is the BIG day! We arrived in the snow last night to Petra where we settled in to our comfortable Marriott Hotel. We could see Aaron‘s tomb on top of Mount Hor as we ate breakfast (Numbers 20:27-28). Then we took off for the exciting hour walk back through the deep […]

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Day 3 in Jordan: Madaba, Mosaics, Mount Nebo, Fortress of Machaerus, to Petra

February 10, 2020

Everyone got a good nights sleep last night with some free time yesterday afternoon so they’re fresh and ready to go today. We start the day with Mass at Mount Nebo (homily here) which is a brand new church built over the ruins of ancient churches. It’s run by the Franciscans and it marks the […]

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