Day 7: Birthplace of Mary, Miracle of Jesus, Mass at Gethsemane, Prayer at Western Wall, Free Afternoon to EXPLORE and PRAY

by Steve Ray on May 4, 2014

View during Mass at Gethsemane

The weather is beautiful and the sun is shining. Visibility is clear and Israel is magnificent. I guess a lot of people realize that because there are hundreds of thousands of people here from around the world. For those who are afraid to come to the Holy Land realize that more than 3.5 million people will visit this year and you’ve never heard once of one being hurt or even afraid. 

Our folks are quite beside themselves with joy, excitement, and deep spiritual blessings. We worked them hard this week :-) and today they get a reward — half of day free.

Mass among the Olive Trees

We started out at the birthplace of Mary and also Bethesda where Jesus healed the crippled man. From there we went to Gethsemane which is always very moving for pilgrims. This is the place with the sins of the world fell on Our Lord; we had Mass among the olive trees.

Next we went to the western wall and joined several hundred Israeli soldiers there for celebrations. Tomorrow is Independence Day for Israel and everyone is gearing up and the Western Wall is throbbing with excitement. All of us got to pray, touch the wall and learn a bit about the history of Israel.

Some of our guys at the Western Wall

We were the first bus to lunch which is always our goal :-) and everybody scattered throughout Jerusalem in small groups to walk along the tops of the old city walls, to visit the Citadel of King David, to take a nap, to pray at the Holy Sepulchre or just to find a café to relax and enjoy themselves. This was a reward for punctuality and teamwork. Everybody was excited.

I also ended a lot of videos of walking to the hotel when the dining room and through the halls and out to the bus to get a feel what it’s like on a daily basis for what we do over and over again. I thought a lot of people back home would like to see a bit of what we do.

We invite everybody to come join us. We have a pilgrimage in September, a Family pilgrimage over Christmas which is for parents and grandparents to bring their children young and old. It’s filling fast. We also have six trips going to the Holy Land next year.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne & Tony Comazzi May 4, 2014 at 10:26 PM

We have been so blessed to watch the videos each day, knowing that we will begin the same pilgrimage beginning May 7! It has been such a joy to follow everyone on this wonderful pilgrimage, especially our friends and neighbors, Judy & Tom Reiber. Our hearts are overflowing and full of anticipation as we see each day’s incredible events. May you all enjoy your last day together as you bid farewell to the new friends you have made in Israel and to the land of our beloved Lord and Savior. Tom and Judy, we’ll get together soon! Steve and Janet, we feel like we already know you, as well as our soon-to-be new friend, Amer! God bless you all and travel safely. With love and blessings, Lynne & Tony Comazzi, Ypsilanti, MI

Jeri Woods May 5, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Steve, I can’t thank you enough for putting up these videos of your pilgrimage to Israel! Between my budget and my mobility issues, I’ll never be able to go on a pilgrimage in person, and it’s been an incredible blessing seeing all these places where our salvation history took place! The Lord bless you and your ministry!

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