Sea of Galilee

Trip Start Mar 16, 2014
Trip End Mar 30, 2014

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Theme: The Galilean Ministry of Jesus

Travel this morning around to Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Mt 14:20). This church is built on the stone on which he Lord placed the bread. The altar stands on this rock. It is a simple church built in 1962. The mosaic is a very beautiful depiction of birds and plants.

We then made a stop at the Church of the Primacy of Peter where Jesus challenged Peter. As recorded in John, Jesus asks Peter to cast his nets on the other side of the boat if he wants to catch some fish. This challenge of fishers of men is now our challenge as Christians, Jesus says "Do you really love me, feed my sheep’. Here we spend some quiet time to reflect and pray by the shore of the lake. Under the leadership of Archbishop Mark we sang a wonderful rendition of 'One Bread One Body' and the acoustics of the church made our voices even sound better.

Capernaeum was our next stop-the centre of Jesus' teaching and healing and home to Peter the Apostle. A very spiritual place you can feel the presence of Jesus as he preached and entered the synagogue as well as stay in Peter's home. This was the centre of Jesus ministry a place he could call his home town. The spaceship church is built on top of Peter's house and the room in which Jesus would stay. Being on the shores of Galilee - a fishing village it would have been busy sand filled with people wanting to listen to this Rabbi - Jesus.

We then set off from the shore in a traditional sailing vessel to encounter one of our most memorable pilgrimage highlights – a Private Mass floating in the centre of Lake Galilee with engines switched off. The quiet was very refreshing and the calmness of the water indeed made it a very special experience. After stopping the boat we listened to the silence and for God to speak to each of us as we celebrated Eucharist together. this was a highlight of our pilgrimage so far We recalled the miracles of Jesus calming the storm and appearing to the apostles walking on this very water. Our group will surely remember this as an extremely moving experience where God' presence became a reality in more ways than one. After Mass, we continue back to the shore for our special 'St Peter’s fish’ lunch and a visit to Ginosar Kibbutz, within which is preserved the remains of a first century fishing boat as in the days of Christ.

Finally we ascended the Mount of Beatitudes as we take time in this special place to ponder Jesus’ message of happiness – the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:1-12). What a day to finish at this important place where we heard the mission of Jesus as expressed in the eight beatitudes.Sitting on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee and the mountain backdrop we listen to the beatitudes and it's reality became even more preset in our lives. For to hear those words spoken at this very place took them to even greater heights in what our lives would be about.

What a day- full of symbolism, story and faith experiences that words cannot capture. I hope the photos and short videos can help us remember what will remain in our hearts forever.
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