Steve & Janet Ray Pilgrimage – Day Three

by Steve Ray on September 3, 2007

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Day three began with breakfast at Pilgerhaus. We boarded the bus and headed a few minutes along the shore to Tabgha — which is short for longer Greek word meaning "Seven Springs." That is why the fish gravitate toward the northwest corner of the sea because of the warm water in the winter months. Tabgha is where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes. There are ancient evidences of Jewish Christians gathering here as early as 34 AD. The mosaic of the loaves and fish is from the 4-6th century.

Then we drove up the large hill (or small mountain, as you prefer) for Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount looking out over the Sea. Fr. Bernie Fraser celebrated a wonderful Mass and again gave a very appropriate and insightful homily. It was here on the mountainside that Jesus showed himself to be the "New Moses" as he climbed the mountain sat and taught the people the New Law. Pilgrims always love this place because of its serenity as we walk through the beautiful gardens.

Our bus then took the 1 hour drive to the furthest tip of northern Israel. As we drove the last few miles we were driving along the Lebanese border to Banias. No one was worried or scared in the least as everything here is quiet, peaceful and friendly. You will hear this from the pilgrims' own mouths. Banias was called Caesarea Philippi in the time of Christ. You can read about Jesus journey and words here in Matthew 16. It is where Peter received his name when Jesus said, "You are Peter (Rock) and on this rock I will build my church." The site is stunning and no one left unmoved. I gave my 20 minute version of my talk "Peter, the Rock, the Keys & the Chair" which is also available in a longer version on my audio CD. Everyone was very touched at this site and happy to be Catholic.

Next we drove through the Golan Heights along the border with Syria. Everyone got out of the bus and looked out toward Damascus which was only about one hour to the NE. We ate falafels and Druze Bread at a local Druze restaurant–way out of the way, a real authentic place. Everyone loved the unique food made of flat bread, yogurt, olive oil, and Zatar.

Next was Cana of Galilee where Jesus turned water into wine. All the married couples held hands and renewed their wedding vows. You will see part of this moving ceremony on the video. Always a time of tears and joy.

After an hour to shower and rest up, we crammed the bus with all 55 of us and we went north to dinner at Aberge Shulamit. It is Janet and my favorite restaurant in Israel.

Everyone is having a great time. The food is wonderful, deep friendships are being formed, and the Lord Jesus is making himself wonderfully known in the LAND, in the LITURGY, and in our LIVES. Tomorrow we will spend more time around the Sea, take a boat ride on Galilee, eat St. Peter's Fish, celebrate Mass at Capernaum in Peter's house (where Jesus lived and did most of his miracles). Finally we will head south and go up to Jerusalem and end the day at Ein Kerem and the Church of the Visitation. Pray for us and we will pray for you.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony McNosky September 3, 2007 at 3:53 PM

Hey…… where’s the video?????????? Camera broke?????? Whats up with that????

Hope ya’ll are having a wonderful time and that those going for the first time may have an enlightening experience in there faith. God bless all….. Tony
P.S. Love ya Dee…..

Marcia September 3, 2007 at 5:27 PM

Hey Sue Parran nice day three out fit whats day four going to be. We are at Matt’s for a barbque. Have a great trip.
Maureen

Matt Rockwood September 3, 2007 at 9:15 PM

I am enjoying your wonderful experience in the holy land. My sister Becky is one of your pilgrims and it is neat seeing her enjoying herself. I am writing this comment to you Mr Ray, because my mom is pretty sick, and she has been that way for over a month. I know my sister is praying for her, but I would like to make a special request that you as a group offer up a prayer for our mom from the same holy ground that Jesus walked and preformed so many miracles over 2000 years ago. Thank you and may God bless ALL OF YOU!!!
love ya Beck!

your bro Matt

Rebecca Gillich September 3, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Grandma and Aunt Lynn,

It is so much fun to see your trip on a daily basis. Looks like you are having a wonderful time. Mom and Dad and maybe even Benji are watching too. All is well back home. School starts tomorrow so say a prayer for a blessed school year for Neal and myself. We’ll keep praying for you!!
Lots of love,
Rebecca

Sarah Huffman September 3, 2007 at 10:05 PM

Hi Mom, Dad (The Yavellos), Richard (Adamian) and Anne (Yoches)!
Mom, I JUST saw your note at the end of the itinerary you left about this blog… what a treat! I just watched days one, two and three and everything looks wonderful. Not only is the area far more beautiful than I would have imagined, but the spiritual journey’s beauty is… well, I don’t even have a word for it! We are praying that God pours his blessings out on you and your fellow pilgrims on this trip, as well as your guides and two trusty priests! I’ll be following along the rest of your trip through the blog (thanks Mr. Ray!) and can hardly wait to hear and see more when you get home. In the meantime, soak it all up and enjoy yourselves! We love you-
Sarah, Brett and Nora G

Greg Beauvais September 3, 2007 at 10:16 PM

Looks like all are having a wonderful time.

TO my wife — PAM ,,, Happy Anniversary on Wednesday. So glad you are finally able to fulfill your dream of “walking where Jesus walked”. Enjoy every minute of your adventure.

All my Love,

Greg

Pat Hornung September 4, 2007 at 1:43 AM

Lynn,

Knowing fully how devout you are in your faith, this must be a wonderful thrill for you to experience the same steps of our Lord and to be blessed by the waters of Jordan. Finally got to see you with wine in hand. When you return home, you should be prepared to start doing homilies at church.

Pat

Vicki Reynolds September 4, 2007 at 8:19 AM

Hi Becky,Lynn,and Pam, it is so much fun watching what you all are doing. I am getting a real education everyday. Everyone is fine and I think Benji is attached to my hip. That is OK if it gives him comfort it is worth it. Becky we are praying for your Mom and I am recuperating very fast. We do expect though when Grandma gets back to indulge more around family with a beer more often!!!!!!!! Anyways continue to enjoy and God Bless.

Love,
John & Vicki

Sandy Grysko September 4, 2007 at 8:25 AM

Sue Parran…..Missed you at the wedding…..Quite an event. Melissa and the girls were absolutely breathtaking. Lots of dancing, lots of love shared and even a baby the same day (Joe’s sister). We are all praying for your safe and enjoyable trip. Thinking of you often! Love, your cousin, Sandy.

Renfer Family September 4, 2007 at 10:00 AM

Hi Fr. Steve,

We are loving watching you, the other pilgrims and of course the Rays on your journey! Wish we were there.

Mark, Richelle, Jim, Ian, Hope, Joe and Caleb Renfer

PS- Jim says work on a new handshake :)

Jessica Hill September 4, 2007 at 1:54 PM

Hi Mom! (Cheryl Hill)
Sorry I missed your phone call yesterday. The blog is great, looks like an amazing trip (when will you be ready to go back?) Try calling again, this time I’ll pick up. Excited to hear about Jerusalem…
Stay safe, Jessica

Dan September 4, 2007 at 8:51 PM

Hi, Holly!,

Mom, I could tell what you were thinking about during the renewal of the wedding vows…. dad would have liked that almost as much as the food. We’re looking forward to having you back, but have fun in the meantime.

Thanks to Steve for the wonderful blog. All of us here love tuning in to see and read about all the wonderful things you all are experiencing.

love,
Dan

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