Kathisma – A place of rest on the way to Bethlehem
Kathisma in Greek means “seat” or “place of rest.” According to the Proto-Gospel of James, the Holy Couple, while on their way from Nazareth, stopped to rest when already approaching Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born.
A tradition says that the Virgin Mary sat there at the stone of khatisma for a little while and then suddenly some water sprang out of a rock to quench her thirst. Until the 17th century, pilgrims saw a large date palm which, according to the legend, had lowered down its branches to provide shade & fruit for the Mother of God.
The existence of this unique Kathisma church was known from Byzantine literature, but its location was a mystery. Its ruins were completely buried in the grounds of an olive grove until discovered during roadwork in 1992. The second photo is of the mosaics found there. ... See MoreSee Less
After mass we gathered in St. Catherine’s. We had the privilege of joining the Franciscans in vespers & a procession to the Church of the Nativity and down into the cave and manger area where Jesus was born. Each of us returned to kneel at the star and touch the stone top of the cave at the stars center, marking the place of Christ’s birth. ... See MoreSee Less
And then we passed into Bethlehem, this 'House of Bread". We entered the Church of the Nativity and St. Catherine's which is adjacent to it, and made our way below to the Cave of St. Jerome and a small underground chapel on our first day for our first celebration of Mass in the Holy Land.
Here in the caves below, St. Jerome had lived and translated the scriptures into the Latin Vulgate. St. Jerome was so moved by his experience in the Holy Land that he famously said: Five gospels record the life of Jesus. Four you will find in books, and the fifth you will find in the land they call holy. Read the fifth gospel and the world of the four will open to you. St. Jerome (347-420A D) ... See MoreSee Less
First stop today was Shepherds Field Chapel and Cave. In the cave, which being a cave, has no door, we were reminded that Jesus, born in a place open to all, calls us to also be welcoming and hospitable, open to all persons. By opening the door of our hearts and lives, may we become Sentinels tending to the open door of gods mercy… ... See MoreSee Less
On the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Holy Father has released a new Apostolic Letter, Desiderio Desideravi, on the liturgical formation of the People of God. Its title is drawn from Luke 22:15 – “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” ... See MoreSee Less
St. Peter and St. Paul were very different people. They each had an important mission for building up the early Church, and the way each saint served God and spread the Gospel was unique to the special gifts God gave him. But in many ways, St. Peter and St. Paul were quite alike. After reaching drastically low points (for Peter, denying Jesus; for Paul, persecuting the early Christians), both men decided to say yes to God. And their “Yes” changed everything for the early Church, leading to the Church we have today. Here are five quotes that show the deep faith of these great saints who, though different, are deeply connected and share a feast day:
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” — St. Paul, Galatians 3:28
“By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” — St. Peter, 1 Peter 1:3–5
“We walk by faith, not by sight.” — St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:7
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” –St. Peter, John 6:68–69
“He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities — all things were created through him and for him.” –St. Paul, Colossians 1:15–16
Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and, when they had finished breakfast, said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a 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. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” John 21:15-19 #dailyingodsword... See MoreSee Less
As we set out on our parish pilgrimage to the holy land, we will be sharing a small travelogue here so that you can join us in some way even as we carry you there in our hearts. We will remember you as we break bread at the holy sites where Jesus preached and healed and prayed, where he worked miracles and called his followers, from his birth to his passion to his risen appearances & ascension. This excerpt from a poetic blessing starts us on our way.
For the Traveler By John O’Donahue
Every time you leave home, Another road takes you Into a world you were never in…
When you travel, you find yourself Alone in a different way, More attentive now To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching You abroad; and how what meets you Touches that part of the heart That lies low at home… To create a crystal of insight You could not have known You needed To illuminate Your way.
When you travel, A new silence Goes with you, And if you listen, You will hear What your heart would Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing…
May you travel in an awakened way, Gathered wisely into your inner ground; That you may not waste the invitations Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, And live your time away to its fullest. 🙏 Until next time - from Jerusalem! ... See MoreSee Less