Just back from Bethlehem and a great story, but you have to wait, because today I will tell you about The sea of Galilee.
I made fried eggs for breakfast before we headed out for the day. Our first stop was the Mount of Beatitudes, site of The Sermon of the Mount, located just above Capernaum, Jesus’s home for a period of time. The weather was beautiful and driving was easy.
We arrived at the mount and not many tourists were around. This is slow season over here. As we approached we were surprised at the size of the complex, which is a retreat center. What a beautiful setting for that. There is not much to see here but it was worth the trip. The chapel was small andbeautiful and I got to kneel on the kneeler St. John Paul II knelt on when he was here. You could very easily picture Jesus sitting on a rock and delivering the Sermon in these surroundings. The peacefulness was extraordinary.
From here we drove down to Capernaum and the home of St. Peter. This is the place where Jesus cured the invalid and St. Peter’s mother. The scriptures each day just become more alive with each place we go. Again the place was hard to explain, a mixture of ruins of the house of St. Peter and an old temple, which was rebuilt twice, but you knew the whole place was very special.
We went down to the shore and found some beautiful stones to bring home, who knows……….Jesus could have walked on one! We sat under the trees, where the temperature was about15 degrees cooler, and just contemplated the life of Our Lord.
Ten minutes away, we stopped at the church of St. Peter’s Primacy, called The Church of Mensa Christi, where Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection and had a fire and fish cooking for breakfast. The stone in the church is believed to be the one that Our Lord sat on. It was to overwhelming to venerate it. We lit a candle for all of you.
Just a hundred meters away, we walked to the scene of the multiplication of the loves and fishes: there is a monastery there but poor signage. It is shaped like an amphitheater with plenty of room for over 5000 people that Jesus fed.
Our next stop was the Magdala Center where Mary Magdalene had her home. They are building a huge hotel welcome center for spiritual retreats. As they were digging to prepare the land they discovered ruins of a very old synagogue, where Jesus more than likely preached. I reached over into the ruins and got another stone that was buried for almost 2000 years since the destruction of the building.
We went to 1:30 mass at the center’s chapel and the priest offered up the mass for all of our intentions. Afterward we spent some time with Jennifer, from Chicago, who lives in the area and is the lay apostolate of Regnum Christi and works at the center. Susan and she had communicated before we got there and she had set up a tour for us. In the main part of the church the altar was made like a boat and I told Sam that it was pieces of wood and recreated from the time of Jesus. He went to the altar and took pictures and stood there asking the Lord how they all 12 fit with the nets and the fish. Too funny.
This sounds like a whirlwind tour but we didn’t leave our house until 9:30 AM. and we went at a nice pace. Everything is so close and parking is not a problem. It was around 3:00 p.m. and we were hungry so we went to a restaurant and had an early dinner and shopped for a few things to pick on that night and food for breakfast. Home we went, finished laundry and packed and then relaxed for the evening, anticipating tomorrow.
God bless you all;
Love Susan, Tom and the Kids
Mary’s Peace Prayer
Mary, Mother of God my mother, Queen of Peace, ask your Son Jesus to
give me the gift of peace. Pray for me for peace; peace in my heart, peace
of mind and of soul, peace in my family, peace with all whom I meet, the
peace of Jesus.
Jesus, my Lord and Savior, my Brother, King of Peace, I come to you
with Mary, Queen of Peace, to ask you humbly for a new outpouring of the
gift of peace. Pour out on me your Holy Spirit of Peace.
Give me peace, Jesus, peace within myself, peace in my family, peace in
my everyday life. Give peace to my nation, and to all nations, peace among
all peoples, peace in the world.
Jesus, my mediator with the Father, take me to the Father to pray for
Father, Father of Jesus, our Father, my Father, I come to you with your
Son Jesus. In Him and with Him and through Him I pray for peace.
May God Bless Each and Every One Of You!
Tom & Susan Melillo
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 (USA)