Our day in the Holy Land started with Mass this morning at Notre Dame Center. When we left there, we began to make our way north to Galilee. While on the way, we stopped at many places and experienced a lot of things. Here’s a brief rundown for the day.
It all started in Jericho. I learned a couple of things about Jericho today. First, the city is 10,000 years old. Amazing! People have been inhabiting it for 10,000 years. Second, the name Jericho means “city of the moon.” It sits in a valley and when the moon hits it, it illuminates the area like nowhere else. While we were in Jericho, we saw the very tree that Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus. Amazing that that old tree is still around!
Next was a visit to the Mount of Temptation. This is place where Jesus went to fast and pray before He began his public ministry and did battle with Satan. From now on when I go through my Lenten practices, I will remember this place where Jesus put a whooping on Satan and remember how small my temptations really are!
Since we were at the Mount of Temptation, I figured I would tempt Lino. Do you think he bit?
Next up, the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. When you go inside the church, you will see a small grotto sectioned with an iron gate. Behind the gate is a small altar in the place believed to be the childhood home of Mary. Amazing! Inscribed in Latin is Verbum Caro Hic Factum Est, which roughly translated means “The Word was made Flesh here.” Imagine that this was the spot where the Angel Gabriel came to Mary to announce that she would give birth to the Son of God. Another WOW moment. Outside the church is a beautiful statue of the Blessed Mother. Above you can see a picture of the two Catholic Channel Mama’s boys!
Finally, we took a trip to Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle. He changed water to wine at a wedding. When you go to the church in Cana, one of the things they do regularly is to renew wedding vows for couples. Michelle and I did just that, after nearly 34 years of marriage. It was one of the most moving moments of our trip so far. Please pray for all marriages!