Today is the last full day of our pilgrimage. For those who started with us and Jordan it has been two weeks of adventures together. For those who joined us in Israel we’ve had eight days together. All has gone amazingly well but unhappily several people have come down with colds and fevers.

Some people took the option to have this as a free day and are scattering to visit friends, visit sites they want to see, or just stay back and rest.

The rest of us started the day with Mass at St. Stephen’s in honor of the eight deacons that we have with us. Deacon Dave’s homily here. From there to the Israel Museum to see the Temple Model and the Dead Sea Scrolls before heading down to the Jordan River.

We have an exciting thing happening at the Jordan River! A young lady with us will be baptized in the river with the approval of her pastor back home and Fr. Dan here. Everyone’s excited for that.

We’ll have lunch in Jericho, go to Qumran, swim in the Dead Sea and ride camels before coming back to the hotel for dinner, a short night’s rest and the flights back to the United States.

{ 0 comments }

Grilled salmon sizzled on his plate as Andy and his family sat down for dinner. No sooner had they crossed themselves to bless the food than the doorbell rang. Andrew dragged himself to answer the door while his family began eating.

Two smiling faces peered in the door. “Good evening, we hope we’re not interrupting your dinner.” Rolling his eyes, Andy responded, “Can I help you?”

door-to-door-salesmanThe first smiling face said, “We are from the local Baptist church and stopped by to see if you are born again.”

Andy had been a Catholic all his life and remembered hearing that phrase somewhere in his past, but at this moment he hesitated. “Well, ahh, I’m a Catholic.”

The second smiling face displayed a hint of glee, “Can we come in and share the Gospel with you?” Andy blurted out, “Actually, we are in the middle of dinner – maybe another time.” “OK”, said the delighted Baptists, “how about next Tuesday evening?”

Andy sighed and agreed. Sitting down to cold salmon, he realized he had his work cut out for him. After dinner, he retreated to his den, grabbed his Bible and Catechism and got to work.

Take a few minutes and study along with Andy as he prepares for the Tuesday visit and the inevitable debate on the much-abused phrase “born again”. Andy started by reading the third chapter of St. John’s gospel. Open your Bible and read along with Andy. Andy began his mission with a barrage of questions.

Is the phrase “born again” in the Bible (Jn 3:3)? Does the Catechism mention this “new birth” (CCC 720, 591)? To understand, Andy thought about Nicodemus. What do Nicodemus and his legalistic system represent (Ro 7:5-6; CCC 1963)? Can the Jewish Law bring new birth and salvation? Is being born of the seed of Abraham sufficient for salvation (Mt 3:8-9; Jn 8:33-47)? What is Jesus bringing to Mankind (Heb 9:15; 12:24; Lk 22:20; CCC 292)?

For the whole article and lesson, click here. Prepare yourself and your children for the inevitable question.

{ 0 comments }

We walked out the door of the hotel at 3:30 AM and we carried our crosses along that Via Dolorosa. We all touched the top of Calvary before we had Mass where Jesus hung bleeding for our sins. It’s a good thing we started early this morning because by 5:00 AM the church was already packed!

We took a tour of the Holy Sepulchre, came back for breakfast, did a very nice tour of the Holy Shroud Exhibit, and then to the Western Wall. Lunch at Rossini’s and a free afternoon and a visit to the Tomb of Jesus. We had a great dinner on the roof of Notre Dame looking out over the city. Enjoy a great day with us!

{ 1 comment }

Protestant Acknowledges “Five Things We Lost because of the Reformation” – one of the best I’ve read on it

February 20, 2019

This article was published by Nick Page in Premier Christianity Magazine in October 2017. He is trying to help Protestants understand that there were problems created by the Protestant movement. He explains five big loses: 1) Loss of unity, 2) Loss of monasteries, 3) Loss of silence, 4) Loss of “doing things”, and 5) Loss […]

Read the full article →

Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Upper Room and more

February 19, 2019

We started the day with Mass at Gethsemane. The homily was exceptional and you can see/hear it here. From there we went to the top of the Mount of Olives to visit the cave where Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Our Father. It is also from here that Jesus ascended into heaven. Then […]

Read the full article →

Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

February 19, 2019

Since we are on the Mount of Olives today I thought I would address a common concern. One of our past pilgrims wrote to me expressing an apparent contradiction in the Bible about what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  “[After the Ascension] they […]

Read the full article →

All Day Bethlehem!

February 18, 2019

All day in amazing Bethlehem. I gave my overview of the history of Bethlehem as were driving through the checkpoint into the Palestinian West Bank. We give everyone time for shopping (which is our one and only time for doing such). Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field Next to the Church of Nativity to […]

Read the full article →

Explaining Catholic View of Covenants with a Dispensational Baptist

February 18, 2019

A Baptist antagonist claimed he had the proper view of God’s plan of salvation – working through dispensations. I explained to him the more substantial, biblical and Catholic concept of covenants. I think you will enjoy the chart which makes salvation history easy to visualize and comprehend. ********************************************** Hello Jerry: It was good talking with […]

Read the full article →

Israel Day 4: Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation and Jerusalem!

February 17, 2019

Mass at Capernaum is always a great way to start the day. The readings are from the Gospel of St. John chapter 6 “ Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” Fr. Dan’s excellent homily here. I give my talk There entitled “Defending the Eucharist.” From there we get on a boat and voyage out […]

Read the full article →

Find the missing books of the Bible

February 17, 2019

Read the following paragraph and see if you can find the name of sixteen books of the Bible that are hidden in the text: I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu, kept people looking so hard for facts and for other it was a revelation. Some were […]

Read the full article →

Beatitudes, “You are Peter (Rock),” Golan, Multiplication, Peter’s Primacy and more

February 16, 2019

Mass and prayer at Mount of Beatitudes. Homily at Beatitudes here. North to Banias (Caesarea Philippi) where Jesus appointed Peter as Royal Steward of his kingdom (Matt16). Druze lunch and driving through the Golan Heights. Drive near Syrian border with profound explanation of situation in Middle East by Amer. Back to Sea of Galilee to […]

Read the full article →

Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?

February 16, 2019

Dear Jerry: I had no intention of writing you again this soon but after having dinner with your brother the other day and picking up a copy of a booklet you gave him entitled Studies In Contrasts: The Doctrine of Salvation (by Herb Vander Lugt and published by the Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, MI.), […]

Read the full article →

Israel Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

February 15, 2019

We have 2 priests, 8 deacons and 1 Catholic Radio Personality – Teresa Tomeo! What a line up for this amazing pilgrimage. This was our first full day and what a blessed day it was. Three Rosary Mysteries prayed on site today. We started with Mass on top of Mount Tabor – the Mountain of Transfiguration. You […]

Read the full article →

Hundreds of my Audio and Visual Presentations & Radio Shows

February 15, 2019

Some have asked me how to access my talks and radio shows. First, you can search YouTube with “Steve Ray” and there are scores of them for free. We also have a webpage with links to hundreds of past talks, radio interviews, etc. Hope you find them helpful to build and support your Faith in […]

Read the full article →

Israel Pilgrims Arrive to Join the Jordan Group

February 14, 2019

Since I was with the Jordan group crossing over from the other side, I was not able to get a lot of videos and pictures from the group coming in fresh to Israel. But all of them arrived safely and in good shape and had a quick dinner and a Mass and are now sound […]

Read the full article →

Jordan 5: Authentic Baptismal Site of Jesus, Mass on the River, North thru Jordan, Crossing into Israel

February 14, 2019

Today we visited the queen of the pilgrimage sites in Jordan and the 5th and final one. We drove down from the mountains of Amman and Madaba to the lowest place on the face of the earth which is the Jordan Valley. It is 1,250 feet below sea level. We arrived at the Jordan River […]

Read the full article →