Day three was another great day of allowing the land of Our Lord to permeate and change us. When walked with an open heart and an eager mind, the Holy Land can grab you and change you.
Fr. Craig commented today on what Amer said the first day: “Don’t just pass through the Land, let the Land pass through you!” Today people were moved and changed as we climbed Mount Tabor to learn about and experience the Transfiguration our Our Lord. Three biblical events took place up here and we discussed them all.
Then we drove to Cana. There is more to say about John 2 than we could cover in a whole day but I shared from my book St. John’s Gospel and we talked about Mary, the turning of water into wine, marries in the Middle East and so much more. But the highlight of Cana is when we renew wedding vows in the Wedding Church exactly where Jesus visited 2,000 years ago.
After that emotional experience we jumped back on the bus for an authentic Arab lunch in Nazareth, as usual supporting the local Christians. Grilled chicken kabobs, lamb kabobs, lots of Arabic salads and pita bread, fries, baklava and Turkish coffee. Great lunch!
Then off to the Church of the Annunciation where the Angel Gabriel brought the good news to a little 15 year old Jewish girl named Miriam who lived in a cave. We prayed the Mystery of the Annunciation in the entrance of that cave. Our planned Mass at the Annunciation was altared due to a wedding which was a dream come true for Fr. Vasek. He wanted in the worst way to celebrate Mass in the Church of his hero St. Joseph and that’s exactly what we did.
Mass was above the House of the Holy Family in the Church of St. Joseph. To make it even more special – it was the Feast of the Holy Family! There were a few tears due to the emotional experience. What a great Sunday Mass. After driving back to the shore of Galilee to our hotel everyone had a few hours to relax before dinner.
Frs. Vasek and Romke sat on the patio and shared with everyone their thoughts on the first days of the pilgrimage. Everyone prayed together and expressed what God is doing in their lives during this trip. All of this with the gentle waves of the sea splashing just below them.