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The Word & The Spirit (Catholic)

Yinon Ben Hod

Day 1  

After landing at Ben Gurion International Airport, we will meet our guide and board the group bus for the drive to Caesarea Maritima. This splendid port city was built by Herod, as one of the most important cities in the Roman World, and the capital of the province of Judea at the time of Jesus. This is where some of the events in Acts Chapter 10 took place.

From here we drive along the Mediterranean coast to  Mount Carmel (Muchraka), recognized as the site where the prophet Elijah confronted the false prophets of Baal, called on God who answered by fire, and led Israel in national repentance and revival.

Continuing across the Jezreel Valley, we arrive in Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee and check in to our hotel.

Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.

Day 2 

This morning we start at Mount Tabor, believed to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus as reported in the New Testament when He transfigured in front of the disciples,  became radiant in glory, and held a conversation with Moses and Elijah.

We continue to Cana of the Galilee, best known as the place where, according to John 2:1-11, Jesus performed “the first of his signs”, his first public miracle, by turning water into wine at a wedding feast. Here we will celebrate Mass.

The Sea of Galilee is often referred to as “The Fifth Gospel” since much of the ministry of Jesus occurred on its shores. The Synoptic Gospels of Mark (1:14–20), Matthew (4:18–22), and Luke (5:1–11) describe how Jesus recruited four of his apostles from its shores. Many of His miracles occurred here including walking on water, calming the storm, the miraculous catch of fish, healings, and more. This afternoon we will take a boat ride on these same waters.

Dinner and overnight in Tiberias.

Day 3 

We drive to the Mount of Beatitudes, believed to be the location where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and where we will celebrate Mass.

Next is Tabgha, recognized as the place where Jesus met his disciples when they were fishing, ordering them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat for a great catch of fish, and the traditional location where He fed the five thousand.

From Tabgha we travel to Capernaum, located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, and called the “Town of Jesus” because it became the anchor and headquarters of his Galilean ministry and where he lived with Peter in his home.

Nearby is Magdala, Mary Magdalene’s hometown, featuring a First Century fishing village with a synagogue where the local Jewish residents gathered to hear Jesus when he visited and taught.

In the afternoon we will commence the drive south along the Jordan River to Jerusalem.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 4

We begin today at the Inn of the Good Samaritan and celebrate Mass here.

Driving  south along the shores of the Dead Sea, we arrive at Masada, the impressive hilltop fortress built by Herod. This site, according to Josephus Plavius, the famous First Century historian, was besieged for three years by Roman troops. The battle ended with the mass suicide of some 960 Jewish zealots who chose to take their own lives rather than to serve pagan gods in slavery and humiliation, thus fulfilling the “Kidoosh Hashem” (in Hebrew), the sanctifying of God’s Holy name with their own lives.

From here we will drive to Qumran, best known as the ancient settlement near the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, bringing to light the oldest biblical manuscripts known to man.

Before leaving the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth at 430 meters below sea level, we will have a chance to bathe in its famously salty and mineral waters .

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 5 

Today we will begin at the Mount of Olives,  the site of Jesus’ epic “Olivet Discourse” of Matthew 24, His end-times prophecy, and the place from which He ascended to heaven after His resurrection.

We will celebrate Mass on the Mount of Olives.

We will also visit the City of David, the Jewish Quarter and Western Wall , all holy sites being part of the historic Jerusalem, King David’s palace, and the Jerusalem Temple complex.

We will end the day with  a tour of the Southern Steps of the Temple entrance where three times a year, according to the Law of Moses, faithful pilgrims including Jesus’ family (Luke 2:41) would arrive from all over Israel and ascend these stairs to bring their offerings, prayers and worship to God. This is most probably the site of Peter’s sermon from Acts Chapter 2.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 6 

We begin the day with Mass at The Garden of Gethsemane, the location where Jesus prayed to the Father before His crucifixion.

From here we proceed on foot to the Lion’s Gate, one of the access points into the Old City of Jerusalem, and the start of the Via Dolorsa, the narrow street within the Old City of Jerusalem believed to be the “Road of Suffering,” the path that Jesus walked from the judgment seat of Pontius Pilot to the place of the crucifixion carrying His cross.

Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 7

Today we drive out of Jerusalem and celebrate Mass at the Benedictine Monastery in Abu Gosh, the traditional site of Emmaus. This is the setting for one of the most touching of Christ’s post-resurrection appearances and teachings.

We continue to the Yad HaShmona village where the Biblical Gardens feature lifestyle and culture during the times of Jesus and the patriarchs.

On to the beautiful Ellah Valley ,where David defeated Goliath. These beautiful and fertile valleys have been cultivated throughout history and boast amazing archeological  discoveries which continue to teach us about life in Biblical times.

In the afternoon we visit Old Jaffa, the port city from whence Jonah set sail to Nineveh , to see the house of Simon the Tanner, St. Peter’s Church and walk through the stone alleyways.

Just before transferring to Ben Gurion Airport for the return flight, we will have some free time in Old Jaffa and enjoy a farewell dinner

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