What a contrast to wake up to! It was a gorgeous sunrise, and although there were fluffy clouds, there was no sign of rain at all. Our first stop was Peter’s Primacy (Mensa Christi) where according to tradition Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection and they shared breakfast.
After crowds and rain and the tension of city and town spaces, this place was utter relief. It was a small building on the shore.
It was so easy to imagine fishing, dragging a boat up the stoney beach and cooking breakfast.
There was no way I wasn’t going to paddle, although I did my best not to follow the example of a friend who rescued her scarf from the water only to get her trousers soaked!
The water wasn’t cold for January, and as I dibbled my toes it reminded me of foot washing, and how important that was for Jesus and his friends. I got very tense with cold in Nazareth, and a hot shower had only partially helped. Here was where I felt tension washed away. It wasn’t that “Jesus was here” but I was very aware that he would have stood not far away, looking at a not dissimilar view…and here was the first place where I really felt that.
The Franciscan church is comparatively plain inside, and I thought the stained glass was beautiful.
We had a little time to stand and stare and pray before it was time to move on, and I was very very grateful for that. It was such a peaceful place and I am glad to have been there and experienced it.
We went on to the ruins of the village of Capernaum, a short way away. I’m told that the sites we visited on this morning make a lovely walk along the lake shore, and I would love to do that if and when I return.
You will have worked out by now that I love a bit of archaeology, and I thought that Capernaum was fascinating. Inevitably, a Victorian Priest had identified Peter’s house, and the room where Jesus stayed, and equally inevitably this had been turned into the undercroft of a (startling) church….
We couldn’t go in because Mass was in progress, but I didn’t mind in the slightest. Again, it wasn’t crowded and there was time… I do wonder whether it was the lack of crowds, and the beautiful countryside, which made me relax and so the time pressure just didn’t seem as great. The cry eventually went up “Ready? Let’s go!…and we did.
Tabgha was a bit special as far as I was concerned, so I’m not going to say anything more about it here. I am still processing so much of the time I spent in Palestine and Israel….
We went via the Church of Multiplication (I’m STILL not sure I’ve got that right) with beautiful mosaics…
…to a Franscican Convent for lunch. Once again we were met with faultless hospitality, and we had the opportunity to wander through the gardens – which reflected the Beatitudes. I was well beyond words by this point.
The day ended with a beautiful boat trip back to Tiberias, and I had a wonderful time sketching (the camera was put away, and so I experienced the landscape differently).
There wasn’t s single place we visited today that I wouldn’t return to in a heartbeat. Some days are blessed and this was one of them.