Wednesday, April 27, 2011

St. Peter's Primacy

 After we left Capernaum, we went to St. Peter's Primacy.  The following verses detail what occurred at this location:

John 21:1-19 (NRSV)
1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way.
2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5 Jesus said to them, "Children, you have no fish, have you?" They answered him, "No."
6 He said to them, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.
8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread.
10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."
11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord.
13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
16 A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep.
18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go."
19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me."

Do you love me?  How those words echoed through the depths of my soul as I walked along this beach.



This is the interior of the church built on this spot.  The rock at the front may be the traditional place where this encounter is thought to have occurred.



The beach seemed so familiar.  This area seemed to look just like I had imagined it would from times of hearing this story in Sunday school.

This area, looking out to the Sea of Galilee, was the perfect place to experience moments of contemplation and silence before the Lord, recounting what had happened here and my response to it.

The exterior of this beautiful church

A powerful sculpture of Jesus and Peter

Rosa reading the text for us

Another view of the area by the beach





The glorious sun peeking out from behind the trees.

A heart-shaped stone seemed to echo the question of love for Christ.


Another view of the sculpture.

The words "do you love me?" and "feed my sheep" continue to echo through my soul as I remember these moments.  Visiting this site was a very powerful part of the trip for me.  
I hope you are all having a good week!

Semi Wordless Wednesday

Photobucket


My beautiful peony from Central Market.  It smells so wonderful!  I wish they were in season longer. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Praise to the Lord for His indescribable gift!
Easter Blessings, Everyone!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Loaves and Fishes

As I wrote the words to this title, I thought about how interesting it is that we do refer to the elements, which Jesus used to feed 5000, as loaves and fishes, rather than loaves and fish.  It is the tale end of Maundy Thursday as I write this and I can't help, but think of another meal in another place where Jesus broke bread with his disciples.  As we face Good Friday, the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf floods my heart and mind.  May we share a few moments this day pondering the love and sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

After we visited Capernaum, we went to a church that has been built upon the traditional site of the feeding of the 5000.  What an incredible miracle and example of God's almighty provision.  The sky had cleared of rainclouds and the most beautiful blue sky ushered forth.  Some of the following photos are my favorites from the trip.

I loved seeing the bells in the towers of the churches we visited.  Something about the sound of church bells is so beautiful to me.  The Methodist church near my parents' home always played the most beautiful melodies at different times of day.  They were hymns throughout the year and then Christmas carols during Advent.  I loved being tucked in bed on Christmas eve and hearing the beautiful melodies lull me to sleep. 
This church is part of an active monastery and this sign reminded us to enter with reverence.  A courtyard was outside the entrance and guides were asked to give instructions concerning the location before going inside.
I loved the light inside this church.
an open window
Beautiful architecture
This photo gives an idea as to the size of the inside of the church. 
I loved this understated detail.
Mosaics at the front of the church.
 More mosaics
 Christ icon

 The front of the church
 A closeup with the loaves and fishes mosaic in front of the stone.
 I believe these doors were from 1270 and depicted different scenes.
 In the courtyard was what I thought at first glance to be a fish pond, but after talking with some of my fellow pilgrims learned that it used to be a baptistry.

Leaving the church.

Next, we journey to Peter's Primacy.  Blessings on each of you this day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Capernaum


After lunch, we drove to Capernaum.  On our way, we got a closer look at the cliff where the pigs would have run down into the Sea of Galilee after Jesus sent the demons into them in Mark 5 and Matthew 8.  The following picture doesn't do much justice because it was rainy and taken from the bus, but it is looking out onto the Sea of Galilee from the road built on part of the cliff area.
This view of the Sea of Galilee was to my left from the bus.
This photo is the view to my right of the cliff area.
Here is another view of the cliff area.  You can tell this was taken inside the bus because of the sticker!
Here is another view of the Jordan.

And another...I couldn't get over that it was right there!

Here is the entrance to Capernaum, which was Jesus' home base for his ministry.
I thought these flowers were so pretty.
These are some ruins of the city.

A statue of Peter.
Architectural details...so beautiful!


Ark of the Covenant inscriptions
Synagogue ruins from afar.
Another view.

Part of the structure around the ruins some believe to have been Peter's home.  The engravings above are boat images.
I believe some think this may have been Peter's home because of some distinctly Christian markings found on some of the stones.
Another view.
The sun came out!
The olive press
Another olive press or gethsemane

The plaque on this stone ruin tells what family gave money for it.

More ruins


Here we are entering the synagogue.  This moment was one of many that were so special to me on this trip.  To recognize that Jesus had taught in this space where I walked, was incredible to fathom.
Columns

The dark stone is the original synagogue structure that would have been present when Jesus lived in Capernaum.
Another view of the synagogue.  The white stone is the structure that was rebuilt in the 4th century.
There were kitties lots of the places we went. 
View of the columns.
In front of a column ruin.
These columns were tall!

 I think these dark stones are still part of the original synagogue structure.
 Here you can see the differentiation between the two structures.
 My "memory jogger"! :)
I just love those trees!
 I've enlarged the above photo, so that you can click on it to read more about the synagogue.

 And after all the rain in Capernaum as I walked to the bus, the sky looked like this!  What a beautiful sight!
 Hope you are having a good week!  Next stop Feeding of the 5000!! :)