December 2019

Mount Tabor, Cana & Nazareth; Dinner at Magdelena

by Steve Ray on December 31, 2019

Third day started early to beat the crowds to Mount Tabor. Taxi vans up the mountain for Mass at the site of the Transfiguration (homily here). Renewal of wedding vows at Cana and my talk on St. John chapter 2 (Watch talk here).

Lunch in Nazareth before visiting Church of Annunciation and praying the First Joyful Mystery where Mary heard the words of the angel. Then Church of St Joseph where the Holy Family lived. Gave my talk “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family.” Ended the day with some free time before dinner at the elegant Magdelena Restaurant.


After arriving in Tel Aviv and spending the first night in Tiberias, the group sure looked more refreshed and ready to go this morning.

We took off for Mass at the Mount of Beatitudes (homily here) before heading north to the upper tip of Israel, driving along the border with Lebanon. We went to Caesarea Philippi, which is today called Banias, and I gave my talk there “Peter: The Rock, the Keys and the Chair.”

We had a great down home and locally authentic meal at a Druze Restaurant. From there we drove back down to the Sea of Gallilee to spend time at Tabgha, where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish and then to the Church of The Primacy of Peter where I gave one of my favorite talks on St. John Chapter 21. Free time back at the hotel, another great Ron Beach dinner and going to bed early.

The mayor of Tiberias stopped by for dinner and we had a nice chat. Above is a picture of Janet and I after our discussion with the mayor.


The Father knocks on my door, seeking a home for his Son.

“Rent is cheap,” I say.

“I don’t want to rent, I want to buy,” says God.

Rent.jpg“I’m not sure I want to sell, but please come in to look around.”

“I think I will,” says God.

“I might let you have a room or two,” I say.

“I like it,” says God. “I’ll take the two rooms. You might decide to give me more someday. I can wait,” says God.

“I’d like to give you more, but it a bit difficult. I need some space for me,” I say.

“I know,” says God, “but I’ll wait; I like what I see.”

“Hmm, maybe I can let you have another room. I really don’t need that much.“

“Thanks,” says God. “I’ll take it. I like what I see.“

“I’d like to give you the whole house, but I’m not sure.“

“Think on it,” says God; “I would not put you out. Your house would be mine and my son would live in it. You’d have more space than you’ve ever had before.“

“But, I don’t understand at all,” I say.

“I know,” says God, “but I can’t tell you about that. You have to discover it for yourself. That can only happen if you let me have the whole house.“

“That’s a bit risky,” I say.

“Yes,” says God, “but try me.“

“I’m not sure. I’ll let you know.“

“I can wait,” says God. “I like what I see.”


Two Buses of Families Arrive in Tel Aviv

December 30, 2019

This is our annual Holy Land Pilgrimage for families over Christmas break. It’s very smart to bring young people here and immerse them in the land of Jesus to have experiences they will never forget. We do teaching for the young people to help ground them in the Catholic faith. We want the Bible to […]

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Ironic Twist to a Devastating Story; Why Did God Allow Sin?

December 30, 2019

I just finished writing my book on Genesis to be published by Ignatius Press. This section I wrote was so exciting and ironic I had to share it, especially since this is Christmas when God became Man. Here is a small section of what I wrote: But why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from sinning? […]

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Reflecting on Turning 65 Today

December 29, 2019

I used to think someone 50 years old was really old — then I turned 50. If that was really old, what now the I turn 65 today? Inside I still feel mid-30’s but my body keeps reminding me it ain’t so. (Picture: Janet and I with baby Cindy in 1978) Five years ago at […]

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Enjoying Christmas Walking Around Jerusalem’s Old City

December 29, 2019
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The Protestant and his Three Huts

December 28, 2019

The Protestant’s Three Huts A Protestant was stranded all alone on an island. He begins sending smoke signals, hoping that somebody will find him. Ten years pass, and a boat is sailing by. The captain notices the smoke signals, and decides to pull into the island. When he docks, he sees three huts. The Protestant […]

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Pictures from Christmas in Jerusalem

December 27, 2019

Janet and I arrived a few days before our group of families arrive for our Christmas Family Holy Land Pilgrimage. We took a few pictures while walking around today and thought you might enjoy them.

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Ready to Start Studying the Bible in 2020? It’s Time to Prepare Now!

December 27, 2019

Since I was 17 years old, studying the Bible has been my passion. Now as a Catholic it has increased 100%. Back in my youth, I could never have anticipated the wealth of materials for study that I now have at my fingertips. I recommend two great Catholic resources: FIRST, Catholic Scripture Study International. I […]

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Old Western Remake of Christmas Story. Delightful and worth 20 minutes

December 27, 2019
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Christmas Announcement: New Grandbaby on the Way!

December 25, 2019

What a nice surprise when we were sipping our Christmas morning coffee. We FaceTimed our daughter Charlotte to say Merry Christmas and got to see the video of her husband Wes when he opened his Christmas card announcing the news. What a surprise! Very endearing! So, this will make 16 grandkids running atound and 2 in […]

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President Reagan Understood Christmas and America!

December 24, 2019

Ronald Regan’s Christmas message in December 23, 1981. It is not a bad idea to watch this short Christmas greeting from President Ronald Reagan again. It is good to again hear about God and the faith in the White House.

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Peanut Butter Falcon – funny, redemptive, and my kind of movie

December 22, 2019

My son wrote last night and said, “Dad, we are are all watching a movie we think you and mom would love. It has a lot of swearing in it but the movie is great. The kids are enjoying it too.” So we decided to watch it this afternoon and never laughed so hard in […]

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Queen of England’s Former Chaplain Converts to Catholicism

December 21, 2019

UPDATE: Queen’s chaplain speaks out on his conversion mentioning political correctness, relativism and the meaning of truth. Good read.

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“Christianity Today Magazine” has soiled itself – I am cancelling my 40 year subscription

December 20, 2019

Christianity Today was one of three magazines that I subscribed to as an Evangelical Protestant. Full of insightful articles, biblical discussions and conservative morality, Janet and I always looked forward to its arrival each month. It was long considered the “voice” of the Evangelical world. It was started by the Rev. Billy Graham who had […]

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