Pilgrimage To Israel, Palestine And Jordan Day 2

Our pilgrimage continued so did the tight schedule.   

Early in the morning (it was really early), we went to the Church of Primacy of St. Peter Mensa Christi and had our mass there. Mensa in Latin means ‘table’. 

It is recorded in John 21 in the Bible that Jesus appeared on the shore of Tiberias before his disciples. When the disciples recognised Him, they had a meal together. The Mensa that Jesus might have used for the meal is the rock in this church. The church was actually built over this rock.  

Church of the Primacy of St. Peter Mensa Christi. You can find the altar and a huge rock. The rock is the Mensa.

Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him and Peter confirmed Him three times that he did. This conversation took place by the seaside close to this church.

The ruins in Capharnaum, the town of Jesus. At the site, all the signs show ‘Capharnaum’ whereas in the Bible, it is spelt as Capernaum. The name Capernaum is a combination of non-Semitic words: k’far, meaning “village,” and Nahum, which is a proper name. To people at the time of Jesus, the town was essentially known as “Village of Nahum”

We could find the ruins of the House of Simon Peter and the synagogue where Jesus said the words ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6)

A modern building was erected over Peter’s house. Look at all these tourists.
Have a look at where the modern building is now.

At the site, we could also see layers of rocks of the walls and buildings. Those layers reveal the different years that the buildings were erected.

This reminds me of Persepolis in Iran
A brief introduction of Church of Heptapegon.
It was believed that Jesus laid bread and fish on this rock before feeding the crowds. The mosaic floor shows two fish and four loaves. How about the fifth loaf? According to the priest (and if I remember correctly), the fifth is the one in our hands (or heart).
‘In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending up on him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”’ This is what it says on the wall.

The reason why we saw these words on the walls was because we arrived at Jordan River where we were baptized again by the priest. It was an emotional moment for some of us. Some of us cried. I think I was pretty excited. I had sins but I was reborn.  😊

Jesus took the boat across Lake Galilee, so did we. We followed his footsteps.
Here we went!
We did take the boat and the priest talked about things that happened here: Jesus walked on the water, calmed the storm, preached from the boats, etc.

We could find people windsurfing and sailing here now. It’s not just a religious place exclusively for pilgrims apparently. None of the religious sites in the world are, including those I had been to, like Tibet and Iran. It’s interesting, sometimes, to see tourists acting as if they owned the foreign land that they were travelling in. We don’t. All places on Earth belong to the Earth. We are tenants only.

The shape of Lake Galilee

Our final stop for today was the Mount of Beatitudes. It was a very nice location indeed. From this church, we could see the sea, the slopes and the beautiful green grass. Note that no one claims this is the exact location where Jesus taught His followers. This is a general area where He taught.  

Church at Mount of Beatitudes, our final stop.

The priest asked us to take a look at the surroundings. He started to explain why Jesus chose this place. Imagine there were thousands of people. He needed to find a place where He could be seen and heard. ‘This was the perfect place’, I said. The priest looked at me and said, ‘do you know how hard it was to climb up to the top in the past? And you need to remember, it was hot too.’

Sermon on the Mount:

‘When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’

Matthew 5:1-12

24 July 2009




My experience

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