Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
James Martin, S.J.February 27, 2019
Pilgrims visit the site of the Baptism of Jesus. Photo by Vivian Cabrera.

Today, we visited the Baptismal site at Qasr Al Yahoud, which holds the oldest and most ancient tradition for being the place of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River (Matthew, 3: 13-17). Here we were invited to renew our baptismal promises. Then, we arrived in Jericho, where we paused at the famous sycamore tree and recalled the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus, the tax collector. We also proceeded to Bethany, site of the traditional tomb of Lazarus for Mass and time for reflection. Here is a reflection by James Martin, pilgrimage leader. 

Pilgrimages are always filled with surprises. But today all of us were surprised by a sacrament. One of our pilgrims, Judy, was baptized for the first time at the Jordan River. We had just renewed our baptismal vows when a priest in our group, started to pour water over Judy’s head. Everyone instinctively knew what was happening and fell silent. How wonderful it was to welcome a new Christian into our group.

For more on the 2019 Holy Land Pilgrimage, visit here. You can send us your prayer requests here.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

A Mexican soldier patrols outside the Church in Cerocahui, Mexico, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (AP Photo/Christian Chavez)
The bishops’ statement followed the slayings of two Jesuits and a person they were protecting in their parish—a crime attributed to a local crime boss in a part of the country dominated by drug cartels.
President Truman's envoy to the Vatican, Myron C. Taylor, left, has an audience with Pope Pius XII at Castelgandolfo near Rome, on Aug. 26, 1947. (AP Photo/Luigi Felici, File)
The documentation, published amid renewed debate about the legacy of the World War II-era pope, contains 2,700 files of requests for Vatican help from Jewish groups and families.
A school bus in front of a building; the building has a yellow banner on it that says “imagine a future free of gun violence.”
One month after Uvalde, we are growing numb to gun violence. Even so, we must resolve to comfort the mourners, to beat guns into plowshares, and to say “never again” and mean it.
Britt LubyJune 24, 2022
A man bows his head in prayer before a computer screen showing nine people doing the same
As pandemic restrictions have eased, most parishioners have returned to in-person Masses. But some would prefer the option for virtual services to remain.
Keara HanlonJune 24, 2022