It was sad to see the pilgrims leave. Emotional hugs and farewells. But today, our last day, was marvelous.
We started out with Mass at the Church of the Visitation. I gave my popular talk on Mary the Ark of the New Covenant and how this message is embedded in the Gospel of Luke. Then to the Israel Museum for the half acre model of Jesus’ Jerusalem and a tour of the Shrine of the Book with the Dead Sea Scrolls.
After a nice cappuccino we drove out of Jerusalem past Bedouin camps down into the Judean Wilderness. We visited the authentic baptismal site of Jesus at the muddy Jordan River. Then lunch in Jericho where we saw the mountain where Jesus was tempted by the Devil and a sycamore tree like the one Zaccheus climbed up to see Jesus.
After a delicious Palestinian lunch we went to Qumran and saw Cave number 4 where the first Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and learned about John the Baptist and the Essenes. And about me eating a live grasshopper.
Swimming in the Dead Sea and riding camels ended the Optional Day before we came back to the Notre Dame Hotel to eat, have Fr. Bernard bless the religious items, finish packing and head to the airport.
Enjoy these two action-packed videos and comments from the pilgrims.