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

Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops their job is to step back from partisan politics and help their faithful discern based on values.
Catholic News ServiceJanuary 20, 2020
Sometimes what God wants to offer you isn’t some great insight or moving memory or heartfelt desire, but something simpler: a feeling of calm and peace.
James Martin, S.J.January 20, 2020
Pope Francis firmly condemned “every form of anti-Semitism” on the eve of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2020
Pope Francis welcomes Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi to the Vatican Jan. 17, 2020. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)
The Vatican revealed that the pope and president discussed “the good existing bilateral relations” between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and expressed “satisfaction” at the ratification of the framework agreement between the two countries on matters of mutual interest.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 17, 2020