As long as we are discussing pilgrimages - in general - what is the point - in the first place? Contrary to popular opinion - it is not about travel - not about vacations - not about exotic locations. The goal of all pilgrimages - local - national - international - is making an attempt to help others take the very short journey of twelve inches from their mind to their heart. All pilgrimages are designed to help individuals become aware of how much God loves them - cares for them - wants them to share the Good News - with all they meet.
Recently I did a bit of math - with some rough figures - estimated the number of people that have directly or indirectly been touched through the various ministries that my wife and I have been involved in. Through our ministries as chaplain - deacon - in hospital visits - baptisms - weddings - wakes - funerals - preaching - teaching - numerous presentations - youth ministry - pilgrimages - evenings of reflections - retreats - over the course of some forty years - together we have had an influence - impact - affect - on the lives of no less than 500,000 individuals - if those people each in turned shared their experience with just one other person - that estimate jumps to one million individuals. I share these numbers not to pat ourselves on the back - rather to show what one couple - committed to sharing their faith - can accomplish in their lifetimes. So often - when we ask people to become involved in sharing their faith - the common response - what affect can I have as a single individual. As shown by the numbers above - our individual impact is much more than any of us would have guessed. As a group of committed Christians - freely sharing our faith experiences - we can reach hundreds of millions. We can - do - have a much greater impact on people around us - than we would ever realize.
Standing in the Sea of Galilee
Each of us - as a result of our baptisms - has been called to share in the ministry of Christ - to be priest - prophet - king - of our own domains - to proclaim the Gospel message to all whom we come in contact with - each one reaching one. When an individual says who are they - what effect can they expect - only has to look at the numbers above to see what possibilities really exist. Each of us walks a journey - camino - pilgrimage - seeking to draw closer to God. On that path we need to invite others to travel with us.