President John J. Hurley and his wife, Maureen, are on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land sponsored by America Media, a Jesuit ministry that includes America magazine. It is being led by Frs. James Martin, S.J., author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage; Matt Malone, S.J., editor-in-chief of America; and Brendan Lally, S.J., rector of the Jesuit community at St. Joseph’s University. Watch The Dome for photos and President Hurley’s reflections from his week-long pilgrimage.
Father Martin also invites all to join a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land through video links that will be posted daily (see below).
Day One – Sunday, April 19
Virtual Video Link – Journeys.americamagazine.org
Photos and Reflections from President Hurley
We arrived here last night after dark at the Mt. Beatitudes Guest House, high on the hill above the Sea of Galilee and near the place where Jesus spoke the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16). Our pilgrimage leader, Fr. Jim Martin, has stressed to us the need to make this trip a true pilgrimage and to allow God to work with and through us during the week. We did not choose to make this pilgrimage, he told us; rather, God has chosen us. And as we got our first view of the Sea of Galilee this morning, he reminded us all of the Apostles who were called by Jesus right here, with words, “Come, follow me.” He challenged us, “What is our response?”
Today, we visited Capernaum, the place where Jesus lived after leaving Nazarerth. We saw the place where he preached in the synagogue (now replaced by a fourth century synagogue). Adjacent to the synagogue is the excavated village of Capernaum, the site of so many miracles in Mark’s Gospel. We also visited Tabgha, site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, and the seashore where Jesus appeared again to the Apostles after the Resurrection and established Peter as the leader of the Church here on earth.
The Gospel reading for Saturday was John’s account of Jesus walking on the water at night while the disciples’ boat was caught in some strong winds. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they were frightened. His words, repeated in many other places in the New Testament, were, “It is I, do not be afraid.” At the end of this wonderful first day, I pray with these thoughts: God has called me to this pilgrimage; Jesus called the apostles to follow him; I have now seen the places where Jesus astonished so many with his miracles; life is full of dark and stormy nights which frighten us; and I wonder where I might encounter Jesus this week. I am consoled with the words in John’s Gospel: “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
I have the entire Canisius community – students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends – in my prayers and intentions this week.
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