Canisius President John J. Hurley and his wife, Maureen, continue their pilgrimage through the Holy Land. On day three, they visited Eremos Cave, believed to be a secluded place where Jesus went to pray. The group also visited Bethsaida, the home of Apostles Peter, Andrew and Phillip, where they were encouraged to spend some quiet time pondering the call of the Apostles.
The week-long pilgrimage to the Holy Land is sponsored by America Media, a Jesuit ministry that includes America magazine. It is being led by Revs. 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.
Throughout the week, “The Dome” will continue to share President Hurley’s reflections and photos from his journey (see below).
Also, click here to follow a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land through video links, which also will be posted daily.
Day Three – Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Reflections from President Hurley
Today, we were on the Mount of the Beatitudes for morning Mass, followed by a walk down the mount to the Eremos Cave. We visited Bethsaida, the home of Peter, Andrew and Phillip. After lunch in Magdala, we took a short afternoon cruise on the Sea of Galilee and then finished our day by visiting a new excavation of a village and synagogue at Magdala.
We celebrated Mass outside on the grounds of the Mt. Beatitudes Guest House overlooking the Sea of Galilee. I am hard pressed to think of a more beautiful setting to celebrate the liturgy. Our Gospel reading was, of course, the Beatitudes from St. Matthew’s Gospel, each one of which took on new meaning in this special place.
We walked down the hill from the guest house to the Eremos Cave, which is believed to be a secluded place where Jesus went to pray. Fr. Brendan Lally, as he has done each day, did a wonderful job of centering us on the experience. He asked us to imagine walking alongside Jesus down this path and to imagine sitting beside Jesus in quiet prayer in the cave.
We had a similar prayerful time in Bethsaida, the home of Apostles Peter, Andrew and Phillip. We were encouraged to spend some quiet time pondering the call of the Apostles. In his opening talk this morning, Fr. Jim Martin observed that the Apostles were convinced to follow Jesus after he sent them out to cast their nets one more time. When Peter sees the fish in the net, he becomes convinced of what God can do and it enables him to say “yes” to God’s call. And in our own lives, aren’t our own nets already full of the proof of what God can do? What holds us back from saying yes?
We had lunch in Magdala today, and while the food was wonderful, the company of our fellow pilgrims was the highlight. We number about 45 and it is a most interesting group that is absorbing every moment of this experience. The hunger for spiritual nourishment among our group is palpable. We are blessed to be among them.
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