Sunday, September 2, 2007

Holy Land Pilgrimage Day Two

by Steve Ray on September 2, 2007

To see the whole pilgrimage with all the videos click here 
Visit > The Pilgrimages > Virtual Pilgrimages > September 2007 Holy Land & Egypt Pilgrimage

Today it was HOT! But no one complained and we moved very nicely through sites. No one was late and we move efficiently which allowed us to have free time at the end of the day.

We started out with breakfast before leaving at 7:30 heading for Mount Tabor where the Transfiguration took place. Most people don't realize that the Great Commission also took place on this mountain. In Matthew 28 Jesus sends his apostles out to the ends of the world to baptize and to teach. He did this while looking over the land from the top of this mountain.

This mountain is a reflection of Mount Sinai which we will visit in about 10 days. Jesus is the New Moses and this is demonstrated on this mountain. Moses face shone brightly at Mount Sinai — Jesus face shone on Mount Tabor. A cloud (glory of God) descended on Mount Tabor and Mount Sinai. Moses prophecied in Sinai about THE prophet to come with the words "Listen to Him" = God spoke from above Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration pointing to Jesus as the prophet with the words "Listen to Him." So much more!

 We then went to Stella Maris in Haifa on the Mediterranean Sea. Here we visited the Cave of Elijah and the center of Carmelite spirituality. One young lady has pretty much decided to become a sister (nun) and this stop was very exciting to her.

After a delicious and leisurely lunch we drove to Nazareth to celebrate Sunday Mass in the grotto where the Archangel Gabriel came to young Mary with the astounding news that she would give birth to the Holy One of God. everyone was able to touch their Rosaries to this amazing spot where the Word become flesh. Here the Incarnation took place where the first cells within the womb of Mary were both man and God. In the altar — in Latin — are the words "The Word Became Flesh HERE!"

After visiting the home of the Holy Family and discussing their life in Nazareth we drove back to the Pilgerhaus in time for many to go swimming in the Sea of Galilee, others to nap and still others to sit on the patio overlooking the sea discussing many topics. Great Fun!

Good dinner and to bed to prepare for a big day tomorrow. We will go to the place of the Multiplication of Loaves, have Mass on the Mount of Beatitudes, visit Caesarea Philippi where Jesus said "You are Peter (Rock) and on this Rock I will build My Church. We will drive along the Lebanese and Syrian borders before having a great lunch in a Druze restaurant in the Goland Heights. We will then renew wedding vows in Cana of Galilee before heading to dinner at our (Steve and Janet's) favorite restaurant in Israel.

Keep us in your prayers. Everyone is doing great, having a wonderful time and eating a lot of good food. Corporate Travel has done a great job for us, Amer our local guide is excellent and these are two priests are great. We are already talking about a Footprints of St. Paul Pilgrimage for the near future. Stay tuned :-) 


How Big is God?

by Steve Ray on September 2, 2007

He is quite amazingly big, if you can say He actually has a size. Yesterday the grandkids and I turned over a log to find a nest of red ants. We thought about how big we were to the ants. The ants must be saying, "Oh no, giants just picked up our city!" Reminds me of old Twilight Zone episodes.

SunEarth.jpgBut we cannot put a size limit on a Being that is pure spirit. How big is God? Well, maybe let's ask how great and powerful and creative and immense He is. Compare you to the size of the earth, and the size of the earth to the sun, and the size of the sun to the next largest star and then . . .

Click here to see how small we are and why we should be very amazed that a God who can create all this, still loves us enough to send His Son to die for us and His Holy Spirit to indwell us. It is really quite amazing.