Monday, June 4, 2007

Of Fish and People

May 13th, 2007

It is Mothers' Day in the States, and so we thanked God for all mothers around the world, especially this day the mothers of those who have died or been killed in the bloodshed in this part of the world.

After a full German breakfast at the Pilgerhaus, because it was raining lightly we ran to the small Chapel of Pilgerhaus to celebrate Eucharist. The Chapel looked out over the Sea of Galilee. Taking the bread, breaking it, and drinking from the cup of love (white wine!), I am somewhat in awe of eating this meal of salvation in the land of Jesus, the Palestinian Jew who changed the world!

After Eucharist we high tailed it to the Primacy of St. Peter Chapel, that was next door to Pilgerhaus. As we walked down to the Sea of Galilee, lo and behold two fishermen in their fishing boat came to shore! This is the place where the risen Christ reportedly fixed a meal for the fishermen. This is one of the places that Egeria met a group of Byzantine Christians, who cared for the table-rock where Jesus fed the disciples. After Henry read John 21, we hiked up our pants and stood in the Sea at the Primacy of St. Peter, smiling for the camera.

Then, next door to this Chapel was Capernaum. With wonder we walked around the synagogue that was most likely standing when Peter lived in this small town, looking down at the 1st century ruins of this once-thriving town.

With no time to spare, by lunch time we made it up to Mt. Tabor: the Mount of Transfiguration! Unfortunately, it closed early on this day (Sunday), but we nevertheless looked at the field below where one of the wars of Armageddon was to take place. We smiled as Henry read from the Gospel of Luke, in which we read that it was here that Jesus set his face, and his foot to Jerusalem, on his exodus to his death...for us and our salvation, in the company of the disciples along with Elijah and Moses.

Racing back to Jerusalem, slipping easily through check-points, Henry dropped us off at the top of the Mount of Olives as we walked the Via Dolorosa to Ecce Homo, our B&B. The view of the old city of Jerusalem was magnificent. We watched Orthodox Jews walking among the burial plots of the dearly departed; we witnessed a group of Filipino Catholics praying at the chapel where Jesus wept, followed by a group of evangelical Christians from the States praying that they would be ready for the second coming of Christ! We interrupted a folk mass in the Chapel of All Nations, and ducked into the Grotto where Mary died. We were silent before a group of Italian tourists who were reverently walking the Via Dolorosa in the chapel commemorating the whipping of Jesus. We finally made it to Ecce Homo, ready to put our feet up. Dinner tonight was at Az Ahara!

Again, what struck us as significant was that Jesus, this Palestinian Jew, whose life made such an incredible impact upon the lives of others who have all different kinds of perspectives on this man of God.

Pilgrim peace, Brett