Hello friends, I’m writing from my room in the Jerusalem Ritz. Thank goodness for Wi-fi hot spots! It has been quite a trip so far. The highlights:
Nazareth: the village well, only natural source of water (and therefore where Mary went to get water for the holy family. As well, the basilica of the annunciation, where we said mass.
Galilee: The Sea of Galilee is really amazing and very beautiful. My highlight was a boat ride on the lake, which really gave you a sense of the area in which Jesus did his ministry.
Capernaum: To visit this ancient town was to know that you were walking on the same ground where our Lord walked. Yes, even the site of the ancient synagogue, where Jesus did so much teaching, is known. Very special.
Mount Carmel: I presided mass in the Carmelite chapel at the summit. Given the Carmelite side to my spirituality this was significant for me.
Caesarea: A city built by King Herod, it was the official residence of the Roman governors including Pontius Pilate and Felix. We stood in the old palace where Saint Paul was put on trial.
There are lots of other places we visited, and all were nice in some way, but what made these special was that you *knew* these people *really were* in these places. It’s not just a pious guess.