I went with the Director of the Hospital to the Crusader Church in what the Order of Malta in the twelfth century thought was the village of Emmaus. No one knows where it is. The mass, all in French, was beautiful and afterwards we had a silent lunch in the monks’ refectory. To see the French Benedictines makes this, surrounded by palm trees and heat, was to be reminded of the miracle of the French monks in Algeria, are of the most moving I have seen.
The reading was of the catching of the fish in the lake after the Resurrection, sung entirely in French, the accents so hard that I only understood what I was hearing half way through. Embarquement – boarding – was the clue, but the disciples too at first didn’t understand what they were seeing.
Walking round the Old City I was denied access to the Temple Mount by Muslim guards and the Wailing Wall by Israeli guards. I had to content myself with the Garden of Gethsemane. Is it really there, did the ancient trees really witness the Agony? When I reach down in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and found the rock on which Jesus died, I do not know, just as there is much I do not know and doubt but it all happened undoubted by either here or with a hundreds of yards.