Day 5, May 5, 2017
I’ve been to the mountaintop this morning and have seen the coming of the glory of the Lord! What a magnificent site overlooking the Judean Desert. Leaving Jerusalem, we arrived there in time for sunrise (Pic 1). You may remember that this is the desert where Jesus was tempted for the first time – tempted to turn the rocks into bread. We celebrated Mass there with local people on their donkeys and camels nearby. Afterwards, they wrapped a scarf around Julius’s head (Pic 2).
Heading on to Jericho, we took a cable car up the mountain (Pic 3) and visited the Jericho monastery where monks live in total silence (Pic 4). I had only one year of silence in my days with the Daughters of Charity and even then, we had breaks in our silence. I can’t imagine living one’s entire life this way.
This evening we are in Nazareth and stopped to visit the Church of the Annunciation which is located over the local well where it is believed that the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary. We are staying in a place that was once a convent (Pic 5) and are just a few steps to the Church over the site where Mary lived as a young girl (Pic 6).
Yesterday, back in Jerusalem, I was standing alone in the dining room when a man walked in whom I recognized as the Archbishop of Canterbury. For those of you who don’t know, he is the head of the worldwide Anglican Church. We exchanged a few words and he asked if I was with the Rochester pilgrims. I told him we were from Nevada, that my husband was a retired Episcopal priest at Trinity Cathedral in Reno, Nevada under Bishop Dan Edwards. Today, we ran into him again in the streets of Nazareth and he acknowledged our group. This is not quite like running into Pope Francis but, for an Episcopalian, it is right up there.