With the arrival of secretary Br. Carlos Vasconcelos nds, assisting Br. Elio Passeto Director of the program, we knew we were in for a very lively and well prepared Spanish Biblical Program. Our congratulations to Carlos for the wonderful ministry, as he guided and ‘skipped’ with our Spanish and Portuguese speakers, supporting them through a very successful month here in Ecce Homo.
The energy and sharing between the 33 participants, including Brs. Espedito de Lima & Osmar de Paullo and our Sisters Paulina Gutierrez nds from San Jose, and Helena Esmeralda de Souza nds from Rio de Janeiro, filled the halls of Ecce Homo and brought joy and delight to all during the month of January.
The final Eucharist in the Ecce Homo Basilica and the inclusivity of the feast that followed was another occasion for much rejoicing as the participants gave warm and generous thanks for the month of studying the scriptures in the Land. Congratulations Elio, and for all those who made this a memorable month of learning.
Now into their third week the participants of this final three month Sabbatical program to be offered here in Ecce Homo are beginning to call their house of study – home! Coming from 12 different countries they have entered fully into this precious and gifted time, studying, praying and walking with their scriptures in the land we call holy.
Blessed with excellent guides the initial weeks were spent exploring the archaeological sites as far as Masada including a float in the Salt Sea and Qumran and as close as the Temple Mount/Haram esh-Sharif just across the road. Next week will be spent on pilgrimage in the region of the Galilee.
It has been rewarding and most encouraging to hear this past week from students as they leave the lecture hall following a class on the prophet Amos, or Interpretation of the Bible in Judaism and Christianity in Rabbinic and Patristic times, that they are now keen to study more of the un explored treasures and richness found in the scriptures.
One of our Lecturers, who teachers Romans in this sabbatical session, called in at the weekend with a present for us. The book is entitled “The Jewish Annotated New Testament “New Revised Standard Version Bible Translation edited by Amy-Jill Levine & Marc Zvi Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011. Some titles of essays found towards the back of this book are helpful reading and very pertinent for our participants – Bearing False Witness – Common Errors made about Early Judaism; and Paul and Judaism.
Sr. Bernadette Lynch NDS