Monday, August 22, 2022

Holy Land Pilgrimage Part 1


Hi y’all this is James again! 

As promised, I'm here to share my pilgrimage experience.  :-)

I just want to start by giving a special thank you to those who helped support me on this pilgrimage whether it be your generous donations or your kind and thoughtful prayers. I am eternally grateful!!! I remembered y'all and your intentions during the masses we had throughout the pilgrimage. <3 

A little side note: The reason it has taken me so long to get this post out is the fact that since my return I have been insanely busy working as much as I can, a family trip down to Oregon to see my grandparents (stay tuned cuz mom may be posting about that trip), and spending time with my little brothers before they headed off to summer camp. (Their camp ends a few days after I leave for North Dakota.) But yeah anyway, I've been busy but it's finally here!!! 

During the pilgrimage, I posted every night over on my Instagram so I'm going to borrow a few of the pictures and a bit of the text from over there but I'm throwing in new stuff too.    

I have decide to break up the pilgrimage into a series of posts because there is a lot to cover!
With that said, without further adieu, here is my pilgrimage experience of the Holy Land.

Enjoy! :D


Departure Day: Thursday, July 7
Today, we depart North America for our overnight flight to Tel Aviv, Israel! Meals on flights.


🎶 Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, oh Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works?
That's nobody's business but the Turks 🎶


They had a NICE sushi place right next to my next gate 
soooooooo naturally I had to get some 🤪😋🍱🍣🥢
 
 

Made it to Turkey 🇹🇷


Turkey Sandwich in Turkey 😜😂 


Day 1: Friday, July 8
Welcome to the Holy Land! We arrive at Ben Gurion airport in the afternoon and meet our guide there, who will transfer us by private coach to Nazareth, our home for the next four nights. Holy Mass of Arrival of Pilgrims in Holy Land. Welcome dinner and overnight in Nazareth.


Touchdown is Tel Aviv, Israel! 🇮🇱 On the bus to Nazareth

 


Once we arrived at our hotel we set up for Mass.  


Day 2: Saturday, July 9
We will visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, where the Word was made Flesh (Luke 1:26-38). We’ll also visit the church of St. Joseph, built over the house of the Holy Family (Luke 2:39-40, 51-52), and ponder our Lord’s hidden life. We will visit Cana of Galilee, where our Lord performed His first public miracle, changing water into wine for the wedding guests at the request of our Lady (John 2:1-11); here, married couples can renew their nuptial vows. After lunch, we’ll ascend Mount Tabor to visit the Church of the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-9), where St. Peter said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” and the voice of the heavenly Father was heard from the shining cloud. Dinner and overnight in Nazareth.


All kitted out 🤪 
I tried to take a mirror pic every morning just so I had something that would let me know when a new day started for when I'd go through all my pictures in the future... like what I'm doing now lol :D 



Stared the day by visiting Cana of Galilee, where our Lord performed His first public         miracle, changing water into wine for the wedding guests at the request of our Lady. 

All the married couples renewed their wedding vows while in one of the chaples which was a very moving moment! It was really special! Like what I had texted my mom later that night "(it) made me wanna be married".  

"Now when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed His glory; and His disciples believed Him."


 


The rock structure that is pictured above is what would have been the original level where the wedding of Cana took place. 


Visited Mount Tabor where the transfiguration happened.



 

"And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”" (Matt 17:4)


That's my uncle/godfather Fr. Dennis Gordon



"While He was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him!""


Such a beautiful view 🤩



🇮🇱 Lunch 😋
The food over there was SO good!!!


Our last stop of the day was the Basilica of the Annunciation


The area pictured above is there area where Jesus would have played as a child and the little cave area is the place where the Holy Family lived.  

 


The very cave where God became man because of Mother Mary's "Yes"


"Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her." 



Topped the day off by serving Mass for my uncle in the upstairs section of the Basilica! It was such an incredible experience to receive Our Lord where He first became Man. 


To be continued...

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