Day 16

Today we didn’t do heaps. We slept in after a late New Year’s Eve and missed breakfast completely. We started with a lunch of bruschetta and vegetarian pizza. Sooooooo good! And I had an excellence cappuccino. I may be a coffee convert yet! After lunch we made our way to the Vatican City. Sadly because today is a public holiday not everything was open. The gardens were all closed, as was the museum. We only got to see Saint Peter’s basilica. We also had to queue up in the freezing cold for an hour to get in. I can’t imagine how long the queues are on other days!

The church itself is incredible! A truly stunning feat. The artwork is spectacular and the detail in the building is phenomenal. As a piece of art it’s wonderful. I struggle to know how to feel about it though.

I think about the story in the Bible where a woman pours a very expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus’ feet. He praises her for it while the disciples criticise the act, saying the perfume could have bean sold and the money used to feed the poor. It can be good to do extravagant things to show your love for God. However I’ve never really grasped this story properly and I’m not really sure how to apply it.

I also struggle with this kind of opulence and wealth as it is owned by the church. Jesus was homeless and owned nothing. He spent his life giving to others and serving, not owning (more Mother Teresa than Pope?). If he ought to be our example then I feel uncomfortable with the Catholic Church’s incredible wealth as it sits in the Vatican City. I really don’t know what Jesus would say if he turned up and went to Saint Peter’s basilica. I’d love to know though.

Anyway, here are some photos.

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After all that we went out for dinner again to the same place we went to last night. This time we had gnocchi. Amazing! The guy had no fireworks left, but he was just as friendly and lovely. A brilliant end to the day.

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