Holy Land 2019: We welcomed a new Christian at the site of Jesus’ baptism

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.

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

Advertisement

The latest from america

The decision by the High Court of Australia comes nearly a year after a unanimous jury found Pope Francis’ former finance minister guilty of molesting two 13-year-old choirboys in Melbourne’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the late 1990s.
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president-elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, responds to a question during a news conference at the fall general assembly of the USCCB in Baltimore Nov. 12, 2019. Also pictured are: Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, N.J., and Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Conn. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)
U.S. bishops: “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself.... At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.”
Michael J. O’LoughlinNovember 12, 2019
Refugees and migrants at a camp on the Greek island of Samos, on Oct. 18.  (AP Photo/Michael Svarnias)
More people have been forced to flee their homes than at any time in recorded history, writes Kevin White of Jesuit Refugee Service. But there is good news about global initiatives to address the problem.
Kevin White, S.J.November 12, 2019
On Nov. 12, the U.S. bishops elected Archbishop Gomez to be the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the first ballot.
J.D. Long-GarcíaNovember 12, 2019