Wednesday 15 May 2013

Shavuot

It's Shavuot in Jerusalem. I went for mass to the St Joseph's sisters on Rehov Ha-Nevi'im, and then, as usual, walked around a bit, in the direction of Mahane Yehuda, and, since the market was closed, through some of the delightful alleys of what I later learnt was the Nahala'ot Quarter. This seems to be one of the old quarters of the new city, and from the pictures and notices on the walls, a Sephardic quarter. There were of course many people returning from the Wall on the streets, and a few also in the Quarter itself. I wished some Hag Sameach - I was in Roman collar - and several wished back. One who looked unwell spat out, but he was on the other side of the road. The skies are overcast, and I find the weather wonderfully depressing. And I realized I have no idea what Shavuot is all about. Sr Catherine says it is about Ruth. It is - the Book of Ruth is read at this feast, perhaps because of Ruth doing the gleaning after the harvest. But, more importantly, it celebrates the giving of the Law, the Torah, 50 days after Pesach.

And for us, Pentecost - the giving of the New Law, the Law of the Spirit, the Law written on our hearts. The Spirit gives us, in fact, new hearts, hearts of flesh to replace the heart of stone. Stones again!

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