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Clifton Diocesan Holy Land Pilgrimage 2018

Bishop Declan is leading the pilgrimage to the Holy Land

From Monday 22nd to Tuesday 30th October. We will be Staying three nights in Galilee, two nights in Bethlehem, and three nights in Jerusalem. As we journey through our week, we would like you to follow us and experience the Pilgrimage for yourselves. Each day, Reflections, videos, podcast, readings and photos will be available on this page, so please use this as a guide to the week.

Tuesday 23rd October: Galilee, Capernaum, Tabgha, Lake Tiberias

PRIMACY OF PETER

Matthew 16:13-19 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” John 21:15-19 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.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to 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 grieved 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. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

CAPERNAUM

Mt 4:12-22 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. Luke 7:1-10 When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. ‘He deserves this of you’ they said ‘because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: ‘Sir,’ he said ‘do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.’ And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

TABGHA

TABGHA – Loaves and fishes Jn 6:1-15 After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he gave by curing the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. He did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be wasted.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had given, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Today’s readings, reflections and prayers

On our first full day of our Pilgrimage, we celebrate Mass at the Primacy of St Peter, beside the Sea of Galilee. We then have lunch at the Tanureen Restaurant. In the afternoon we set sail on the Sea of Galilee

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

MORNING PRAYER

Psalm 80 (81) O shepherd of Israel, hear us, you who lead Joseph’s flock, shine forth from your cherubim throne upon Ephraim, Benjamin, Manasseh. O Lord, rouse up your might, O Lord, come to our help. God of hosts bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved. Lord God of hosts, how long will you frown on your people’s plea? You have fed them with tears for their bread, an abundance of tears for their drink. You have made us the taunt of our neighbours, our enemies laugh us to scorn. God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved. You brought a vine out of Egypt; to plant it you drove out the nations. Before it you cleared the ground; it took root and spread through the land. The mountains were covered with its shadow, the cedars of God with its boughs. It stretched out its branches to the sea, to the Great River it stretched out its shoots. Then why have you broken down its walls? It is plucked by all who pass by. It is ravaged by the boar of the forest, devoured by the beasts of the field. God of hosts, turn again, we implore, look down from heaven and see. Visit this vine and protect it, the vine your right hand has planted. They have burnt it with fire and destroyed it. May they perish at the frown of your face. May your hand be on the man you have chosen, the man you have given your strength. And we shall never forsake you again; give us life that we may call upon your name. God of hosts, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.

Picture gallery

Holy Land 2018 – Tuesday

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See and hear many Pilgrims on the first full day of the Pilgrimage

See and hear many Pilgrims speak with Phil Gibbons on the first full day of the Pilgrimage

Holy Land 2018 – Tuesday Video podcast from Clifton Diocese on Vimeo.

Tel Aviv airport on the Monday evening

Hear from several Pilgrims as they arrive at Tel Aviv Airport on Monday evening.

NIGHT PRAYER

Psalm 15(16) Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: “You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone.” He has put into my heart a marvellous love for the faithful ones who dwell in his land. Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows. Never will I offer their offerings of blood. Never will I take their name upon my lips. O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize. The lot marked out for me is my delight: welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me! I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay. You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever.

Wednesday 24th October: Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor

NAZARETH

Luke 1:26-38 The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. He went in and said to her, ‘Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.’ She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, ‘Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God’s favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.’ Mary said to the angel, ‘But how can this come about, since I am a virgin?’ ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you’ the angel answered ‘and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. Know this too: your kinswoman Elizabeth has, in her old age, herself conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.’ ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord,’ said Mary ‘let what you have said be done to me.’ And the angel left her.

On the Annunciation - St Bernard

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us. The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life. Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race. Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word. Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word. Hom. 4, 8-9: Opera omnia, Edit. Cisterc. 4 [1966], 53-54

THE ANGELUS

The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary: and she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus: Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary . . . And the Word was made Flesh: and dwelt among us. Hail Mary . . . Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God: that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

SYNANGOGUE IN NAZARETH

Lk 4:16-30 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marvelled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Physician, heal yourself.’ What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your home town as well.” And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his home town. But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens remained shut for three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. But he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

CANA

Jn 2:1-11 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water which had now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. Jn 1:43-51 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree’, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

MOUNT TABOR Transfiguration narratives

Matthew 17:1-8 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 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.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. Luke 9:28-36 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One; listen to him!” And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen. God and Father of Jesus, you transfigured your Chosen One and in heavenly light revealed him as your Son. Open our ears to the living Word and our eyes to his glorious presence, that we may be strengthened in time of fear and uncertainty, and one day pass over to share your glory. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Today’s readings, reflections and prayers

Today we visit the Synagogue in Nazareth, the Basilica of the Annunciation, St Joseph’s Workshop and Mary’s Well. The Church in Cana is a nice stop along the way. Mass in the afternoon will be celebrated at the Transfiguration.

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

MORNING PRAYER

Psalm 103(102) My soul, give thanks to the Lord all my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings. It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills, who redeems your life from the grave, who crowns you with love and compassion, who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle’s. The Lord does deeds of justice, gives judgment for all who are oppressed. He made known his ways to Moses and his deeds to Israel’s sons. The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. His wrath will come to an end; he will not be angry for ever. He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults. For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him; for he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; he flowers like the flower of the field; the wind blows and he is gone and his place never sees him again. But the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear; his justice reaches out to children’s children when they keep his covenant in truth, when they keep his will in their mind. The Lord has set his sway in heaven and his kingdom is ruling over all. Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word, who heed the voice of his word. Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts, his servants who do his will. Give thanks to the Lord, all his works, in every place where he rules. My soul, give thanks to the Lord!

Homily from the Mass

Picture gallery

Holy Land 2018 – Wednesday

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Other podcasts and videos

Watch and listen to many more Pilgrime on the third day of our Pilgrimage

NIGHT PRAYER

Psalm 15(16) Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. I say to the Lord: “You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone.” He has put into my heart a marvellous love for the faithful ones who dwell in his land. Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows. Never will I offer their offerings of blood. Never will I take their name upon my lips. O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; it is you yourself who are my prize. The lot marked out for me is my delight: welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me! I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart. I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm. And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; even my body shall rest in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead, nor let your beloved know decay. You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, at your right hand happiness for ever.

Thursday 25th October: Mount of Beatitudes, Bethlehem, Shepherds’ Fields, Church of the Nativity, Milk Grotto

SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Mt 5:1-12 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he said: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

BETHLEHEM

Micah 5:2-5 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labour has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace. Mt 1:18-25 This is how Jesus came to be born. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Lk 2:4-20 Joseph went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. We praise you, gracious God, for the glad tidings of peace, the good news of salvation: your Word became flesh, and we have seen his glory. Let the radiance of that glory enlighten the lives of those who celebrate his birth. Reveal to all the world the light no darkness can extinguish, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the splendour of eternal light, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Today’s readings, reflections and prayers

Today we visit the Mount of Beatitudes where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. We then travel to Bethlehem, where in the  afternoon, we visit the Basilica of the Nativity and the Milk Grotto.

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

MORNING PRAYER

Psalm 8 How great is your name, O Lord our God, through all the earth! Your majesty is praised above the heavens; on the lips of children and of babes you have found praise to foil your enemy, to silence the foe and the rebel. When I see the heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars which you arranged, what is man that you should keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god; with glory and honour you crowned him, gave him power over the works of your hands, put all things under his feet. All of them, sheep and cattle, yes, even the savage beasts, birds of the air, and fish that make their way through the waters. How great is your name, O Lord our God through all the earth!

Homily from the Mass

Fr James gives the Homily today from the Mount of the Beatitudes

Picture gallery

Holy Land 2018 Thursday

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NIGHT PRAYER

Psalm 63(62) O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting. My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water. So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory. For your love is better than life, my lips will speak your praise. So I will bless you all my life, in your name I will lift up my hands. My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, my mouth shall praise you with joy. On my bed I remember you. On you I muse through the night for your have been my help; in the shadow of your wings I rejoice. My soul clings to you; your right hand holds me fast.

Friday 26th October: Bethlehem, Cave of St Jerome, Shepherd’s Fields

BETHLEHEM

Lk 1:39-56
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will I call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring for ever.” And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. And her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” And they made signs to his father, enquiring what he wanted him to be called. And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all their neighbours. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

Whilst in Bethlehem, we spend time today in the Church of St Catherine and we visit the Cave of St Jerome. In the afternoon, Mass is celebrated in the Shepherd’s Fields. An evening at a Bedouin Tent restaurant is in store!

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

Bishop Declan's Homily from the Mass

Picture gallery

Holy Land 2018 – Friday

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Mike and Antonia

talk about their Pilgrimage so far from the Shepherd’s Fields in Beit Sahour

Saturday 27 October: Ein Kerem, River Jordan, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem.

RIVER JORDAN

Jn 1:19-28 This is how John appeared as a witness. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” he not only declared, but he declared quite openly, “I am not the Christ.” “Well then,” they asked, “are you Elijah?” “I am not,” he said. “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We must take back an answer to those who sent us. What have you to say about yourself?” So John said, “I am, as Isaiah prophesied: a voice that cries in the wilderness: Make a straight way for the Lord.” Now these men had been sent by the Pharisees, and they put this further question to him, “Why are you baptising if you are not the Christ, and not Elijah, and not the prophet?” John replied, “I baptise with water; but there stands among you – unknown to you – the one who is coming after me; and I am not fit to undo his sandal-strap.” This happened at Bethany, on the far side of the Jordan, where John was baptising. Mt 3:13-17 hen Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptised by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptised, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

THE APPROACH TO JERUSALEM

Psalm 121 I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to God’s house.” And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built as a city strongly compact. It is there that the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord. For Israel’s law it is, there to praise the Lord’s name. There were set the thrones of judgment of the house of David. For the peace of Jerusalem pray: “Peace be to your homes! May peace reign in your walls, in your palaces, peace!” For love of my brethren and friends I say: “Peace upon you.” For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good. I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to the house of God.” And now our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem! Shalom, shalom, the peace of God be here. Shalom, shalom, God’s justice be ever near. Like a temple of unity is the city, Jerusalem. It is there all tribes will gather, all the tribes of the house of God. It is faithful to Israel’s law, there to praise the name of God. All the judgment seats of David were set down in Jerusalem. For the peace of all nations, pray: for God’s peace within your homes. May God’s lasting peace surround us; may it dwell in Jerusalem. For the love of my friends and kin I will bless you with sings of peace. For the love of God’s own people I will labour and pray for you.

Today’s readings, reflections and prayers

We leave Bethlehem today and make the short journey to Jerusalem. Before we get to Jerusalem, we visit Ein Karem. Mass will be celebrated at the Visitation Church and we then visit John the Baptist Chapel in Ein Karem. In the afternoon we visit the Baptismal site on the River Jordan and finish off at the Dead sea.

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

MORNING PRAYER

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel! He has visited his people and redeemed them. He has raised up for us a mighty saviour in the house of David his servant, as he promised by the lips of holy men, those who were his prophets from of old. A saviour who would free us from our foes, from the hands of all who hate us. So his love for our fathers is fulfilled and his holy covenant remembered. He swore to Abraham our father to grant us, that free from fear, and saved from the hands of our foes, we might serve him in holiness and justice all the days of our life in his presence. As for you, little child, you shall be called a prophet of God, the Most High. You shall go ahead of the Lord to prepare his ways before him. To make known to his people their salvation through forgiveness of all their sins, the loving-kindness of the heart of our God who visits us like the dawn from on high. He will give light to those in darkness, those who dwell in the shadow of death, and guide us into the way of peace.

Homily from the Mass - Fr Michael McAndrew

Picture gallery

Holy Land 2018 – Saturday

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Fr James Hanvey's evening reflection

Frances talks about the Dead sea

Sunday 28 October: Jerusalem, the Holy Sepulchre, the Way of the Cross

JERUSALEM

Is 53: 8-10
By force and by law he was taken; would anyone plead his cause? Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living; for our faults struck down in death. They gave him a grave with the wicked, a tomb with the rich, though he had done no wrong and there had been no perjury in his mouth. The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering. If he offers his life in atonement, he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

Jn 19:1-11
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Jn 19:12-16
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgement seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

Jn 19:17-30
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’, but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jn 19:31-42
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

BETHESDA

Jn 5:1-17
After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralysed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and A walk’?” Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father goes on working, and so do I.”

Our first full day in Jerusalem; In the morning we will walk to the Holy Sepulchre and have Mass in the Crusaders Chapel. We then walk to St Anne’s Church and Pools of Bethesda. In the afternoon, we visit the Ecce Homo Chapel and the Lithostrotos. We then proceed to the Church of the Flagellation and commence the Way of the Cross.

Fr James Hanvey's morning reflection

Bishop Declan's Homily from the Mass

Fr James Hanvey's evening reflection

Monday 29 October: Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemane, the Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, Mount Zion

Today’s readings, reflections and prayers

Whilst staying in Jerusalem for a second day, we visit the Mount of Olives and the Church of All Nations. Walking down the Mount of Olives, we stop at Dominus Flavit for Mass and then continue down to the Garden of Gethsemane and the All nations Church. In the afternoon we continue onto Mount Zion where we visit the Dormation Abbey, the Franciscan Chapel and St Peter in Gallicantu.

Fr James Hanvey's walking reflection

Fr James gives us a reflection from each of the places we visit today.

MORNING PRAYER

Psalm 88(87)
Lord my God, I call for help by day;
I cry at night before you.
Let my prayer come into your presence.
O turn your ear to my cry.

For my soul is filled with evils;
my life is on the brink of the grave.
I am reckoned as one in the tomb;
I have reached the end of my strength.

Like one alone among the dead,
like the slain lying in their graves,
like those you remember no more,
cut off, as they are, from your hand.

You have laid me in the depths of the tomb,
in places that are dark, in the depths.
Your anger weighs down upon me;
I am drowned beneath your waves.

You have taken away my friends
and made me hateful in their sight.
Imprisoned, I cannot escape;
my eyes are sunken with grief.

I call to you, Lord, all the day long;
to you I stretch out my hands.
Will you work your wonders for the dead?
Will the shades stand and praise you?

Will your love be told in the grave
or your faithfulness among the dead?
Will your wonders be known in the dark
or your justice in the land of oblivion?

As for me, Lord, I call to you for help;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why do you reject me?
Why do you hide your face?

Wretched, close to death from my youth,
I have borne your trials; I am numb.
Your fury has swept down upon me;

your terrors have utterly destroyed me.
They surround me all the day like a flood,
they assail me all together.
Friend and neighbour you have taken away:
my one companion is darkness.

Homily from the Mass

Tuesday 30 October

JERUSALEM

Is 53: 8-10
By force and by law he was taken; would anyone plead his cause? Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living; for our faults struck down in death. They gave him a grave with the wicked, a tomb with the rich, though he had done no wrong and there had been no perjury in his mouth. The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering. If he offers his life in atonement, he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

Jn 19:1-11
Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and dressed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

Jn 19:12-16
From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgement seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic, Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

Jn 19:17-30
So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’, but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.” This was to fulfil the Scripture which says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfil the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished”, and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jn 19:31-42
Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

On our final day in the Holy Land we celebrate Mass in the Latin Patriarch Cathedral

Bishop Declan's Homily from the Mass

Bishop Declan's final words and reflection on the Pilgrimage