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

Tucker Redding, S.J. guides listeners through contemplative prayer in this 10-part limited series "Imagine: A Guide to Jesuit Prayer."
Pope Francis touches a Marian icon as he leaves at the end of a vigil, ahead of Pentecost Sunday, at the Vatican June 8, 2019. (CNS photo/Remo Casilli, Reuters)
The pope’s message poses a sharp challenge to a movement known more for personal conversion and evangelization than practical mercy.
Austen IvereighMay 30, 2020
A woman in Minneapolis expresses her anger and frustration on May 28, at the site where George Floyd was pinned down on May 25 by a police officer; he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit)
"Indifference is not an option," said the chairmen of seven committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They stated "unequivocally" that "racism is a life issue."
Pope Francis prays after leading the recitation of the rosary during a prayer service at the Lourdes grotto in the Vatican Gardens on May 30. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis led the recitation of rosary and asked Mary to intercede to save the world from the pandemic in the Vatican Gardens at a replica of the grotto at Lourdes, France.