On the first day of our 2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage, we made a short drive to Capernaum where Jesus began His Galilean ministry. Here, we explored the synagogue which dates to the time of Christ and saw the site of the Apostle Peter’s home. We celebrated Mass in the church which has a glass-floor and is constructed over the site, which allowed us to peer down into the excavated ruins of Peter’s house. We enjoyed lunch together at the nearby Pilgerhaus, then proceeded to the Church of the Loaves and the Fishes (Tabgha), commemorating where Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000. Our final visit of the day was to the Church of Peter’s Primacy, the site where, after His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and told Peter to “feed my lambs; feed my sheep” [John 21:9]. Below is a reflection by one of our pilgrims, Joe Braun.
The rock here has its theological significance for the papacy. But for me today, it was a tangible, touchable connection to the reality of Jesus having walked this earth right here for us and with us. Touching that rock was a prayer to remember his presence by how I live my life, especially in how I love those whose lives touch mine. It is very hard to put into words a very intuitive wonderful experience of realization.
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