Saturday, October 12, 2019

A Favorite Day in Northern Israel

by Steve Ray on October 12, 2019

One of our favorite days when I give give two of my favorite talks in northern Israel and the Golan Heights and along the shores of the sea. We start with Mass at Beatitudes (homily here) and then drive north to the Lebanese border while listening to the vocation stories of our two priests.

We Drove north and along the Lebanese border to Banias which is the Caesarea Philippi of biblical times and I give my talk there “Peter: the Rock and the Keys.” Then to a Druze restaurant for a wonderful lunch followed by a stop along the Syrian border where we talked about the problems in the Middle East and what we as Catholics can do to support persecuted Christians.

Back down to the Sea of Galilee to visit the Church of the Primacy of Peter where I gave my talk on John 21 — and then to Tabgha where we celebrate the multiplication of the loaves and fish. We then had two hours of free time at our hotel before regrouping for a marvelous dinner at the Magdalena Restaurant which is one of the finest restaurants in Israel. Enjoy!

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“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” –St. Augustine

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Pope Paul VI referred to the Holy Land as the “5th Gospel” implying that a pilgrimage rounds out and compliments the Scripture for fuller understanding.

“A long procession of people…have gone in search of the ‘footprints’ of God in that land, rightly called ‘holy’, pursuing them as it were in the stones, the hills, the waters which provided the setting for the earthly life of the Son of God.”   John Paul II

“The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a visitor, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination.

Former Patriarch of Jerusalem Faoud Twal said, “Archbishop Twal encouraged pilgrimage to the Holy Land “Pilgrims should not be afraid to come. Despite the tense situation in this land, the pilgrim route is safe and they are respected and appreciated by all sectors in the Holy Land.”

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