Reflection - Fr. Mike Ohanete
The journey of faith that took us to the birth place and
ancestry of our Lord Jesus Christ began on August 11, 2008 with
a fifteen hour non-stop flight to Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. A
journey bedecked with enthusiasm and expectations. As some of
the pictures will depict, many of the areas visited still retain
that ancient glamour and holiness which surrounds the stories
about Jesus Christ which we read in the scriptures.
The ten day journey of faith took us to places like Haifa the
home of prophets Elijah and Elisha; Tiberias where we visited
Cana in Galilee, Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, the sea of Galilee,
Capernaum, Tabgha and the Mount of Beatitudes. On our way to
Jerusalem, we made a stop at the Jordan River where the baptism
of Jesus traditionally took place. We continued via the Jordan
Valley to Beit She'an where the ancient remains of the Roman
amphitheatre is located.
The drive through the Judean wilderness en route to Jerusalem
culminated at the top of the Mt. of Olives from where we took a
spectacular view of Jerusalem. The pilgrims then visited the
Church of Pater Noster, Ascension, walked the “Palm Sunday road”
to Dominus Flevit where Our Lord wept for Jerusalem, Garden of
Gethsemane, Ein Karem, the birth place of John the Baptist and
the church of St. Ann besides which laid the ancient Pool of
Bethesda; Bethlehem the birthplace of Jesus and the Milk Grotto.
Other places which the pilgrims visited included the Church of
the Holy Sepulcher where we saw the tomb of Jesus Christ; Mt.
Zion, Bethany, the site of the house of Mary, Martha and
Lazarus, and the tomb of Lazarus; wilderness along the Dead Sea
to Qumran where we visited the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls
were discovered; Jericho where we saw the Fountain of Prophet
Elisha. Finally, the pilgrims had a chance to visit the Dead Sea
for swimming in it’s excessive salty water.
This is the
summary of the sites visited during the pilgrimage. However, not
all the pictures of the whole places are represented here.