March 19, 2012
"Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah." -Matthew 17:1
The pilgrims continued their journey walking with Jesus today by starting with Mass at the Church of the Transfiguration. His Excellency, Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo very fittingly read the transfiguration passage found in Matthew's Gospel.
During his homily, the Bishop spoke of how Jesus wanted Peter, James and John to experience the glory of his transfiguration so that they could later experience his passion in the garden of Gethsemane. He spoke of how there is glory in suffering and suffering in glory, the two are inseperable. Jesus wanted to teach the disciples who were closest to him this lesson and he continues to teach it through the Church. After seeing Tabor, our spirit should no longer mix with the world, but should rise to the Father in heaven. The Father waits for us at the top Mount Tabor, so we should rise to greet him, not sink to the world again. Though we are called to be in the world, we must not forget where our true home is. In closing, the Bishop said, "Let us draw life, encouragement and courage from this holy place that we may arrive one day at teh true Tabor and be with God in heaven." While listening to his beautiful sermon and participating in the Mass, the pilgrims were able to look up at the beautiful mosaics depicting the Transfiguration of Jesus and be enriched.
After seeing the mountain of the Transfiguration, the pilgrims were taken to Mount Carmel, where tradition has it that the Prophet Elijah defeated the priests of Ba'al (1Kings 18). Though it was windy on the top of the mountain, the view was beautiful. The last stop of the day was the Mediteranean Sea where the pilgrims were able to see ruins from the palace of King Herod.