Holy Land Pilgrimage Day 3

Continuing with Day 3 of excerpts from my February 2000 Jubilee  year Holy Land pilgrimage journal

Day 3 – Thur, 2/17/2000 Sea of Galilee

The day begins with our boat ride across the Sea of Galilee on the “Jesus Boat.”  We stopped in the middle of the sea as our priest read the scriptures of Jesus calming the storm(Mat. 8:23-27).  We then reflected on fears in our lives today and the need to trust God.  I’m thinking specifically of decisions I’m currently trying to make at work and in my personal life.  Where does God want me?  Where next is He calling me?  What does does God mean in the dreams He sends to me?  The latest is of following a nun and of religious vows.  As strongly as I heard and answered the call to the Catholic Church as an adult, I believe the seed was there as a child.  I just didn’t understand it because I wasn’t nurtured in that way as a Baptist.  I never heard the word “vocation.”  These confusing emotions are all on my mind as I sit on the “Jesus Boat.”  I quietly hum daddy’s song again, “Walking the Sea.” 

We visit Tabgha, the place of the multiplication of loaves and fish and the place of Peter’s primacy – “Feed my lambs – tend my sheep.”  Mass was held at the Church of the Beatitudes (Mat. 5:1-12).  I did the first reading of several during the pilgrimage.  That made it extra special for me – to stand in the Holy places and read scripture during Mass.


It is interesting to recall the things that were on my mind during that first year.  I was approaching my first Catholic anniversary.  The Summer after my reception into the Church, I spent a lot of time researching information on the Internet.  It ranged from apologetics to Church history to vocations.  I’ve described the Mystagogia period as being “set adrift into the sea of Catholic opportunity.”  I looked into Catholic Singles and volunteered as a Life Teen Core Team member.  It was during this first Summer that I discovered the Secular Franciscans.   By the time I made my Holy Land pilgrimage, I’d made my first inquiry visits with the local SFO fraternity.  My pilgrimage also gave me a glimpse of the Franciscan Orders’ Custody of the Holy Land.  I was very intent upon God sending me a burning bush, or dropping some inscribed tablets out of the sky that would tell me exactly where he wanted me.  I was in Israel after all.  God should find me here  — shouldn’t He?  I was sure I was on His turf — literally in His front yard.


The “Jesus Boat” is a tourism business utilizing replica boats of an ancient fishing boat found on the bottom of the lake.  Check this link for excellent photos and history of this ancient find… Click here to visit the Jesus Boat and Museum


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