Sunday, March 11, 2007

Day 2 in Israel

by Steve Ray on March 11, 2007

Everyone is doing great and having a wonderful time. Enjoy seeing your family and friends in the video.

After a delicious breakfast we headed through the hills west to Mount Tabor, the mountain of the Transfiguration. The road up the mountains is full of switchbacks and far to steep for the buses so we took white taxis up the mountain. They have to change their tires and breaks every 30 days and we joked with the pilgrims that they were scheduled for the change tomorrow :-)

It was from here that Jesus’s glory was revealed and from where he gave his Great Commission (Lk 9, Mt 28). It was a crisp, clear day and we could see for miles.

Next was Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned water into wine. You will see much of this moving ceremony on the video. Two couples celebrated 50 years of marriage and many other anniversaries were listed. Always a time of tears and joy.

Lunch at the foot of the mountains around Nazareth and then down into Nazareth to walk the streets where Jesus grew up. We arrived at the Church of the Annunciation and had Mass in the grotto where Gabriel brought the good news to Mary.

We celebrated Mass in front of the cave. On the altar is reads, “The Word became Flesh — HERE!” It was tremendous for our pilgrims to meet the bishop and receive his blessing. He also blessed all of our rosaries right on the place that the words were first uttered “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you . . .”

Words fail to express the joy, emotion, and profound awe of standing where these things took place in real space and time — right here!

We’ll keep you posted as our journey in the Holy Lands continues. God Bless!

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DAY ONE – We arrived in Israel!

by Steve Ray on March 11, 2007

Continental arrived around 10 AM and Lufthansa around 3:30 PM. Everyone arrived safe and sound. After unloading our luggage the travel-weary pilgrims ate a typical sumptuous dinner at the Nof Ginosar on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

Then we boarded the buses and headed to the Primacy of St. Peter Church and held an outdoor Mass on the sea, under the stars. We had frogs singing to us, bats swooping around to keep the bugs away, and a gentle breeze.

Everyone got a good night sleep and we are off now to the Mountain of Transfiguration (Mount Tabor) which you can read about in Luke 9. Then we all renew wedding vows in Cana of Galilee (John 2) where Deacon Ray and his wife will celebrate 50 years of marriage. Then lunch on our way to Nazareth.

So, all your friends and family are fine and you will see them in the video — if not in this one, stay tuned throughout the pilgrimage. God bless you all. More later.

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