It is morning in Nazerth. We landed about an hour late as we were delayed the same at JFK due to some passengers who missed the flight and their bags had to be found and taken off the plane. Upon our arrival and for all my prepartions, I could not find the driver I hired online to drive us th 60 miles or so from the airport in Tel Aviv ti the Rosary Sisters guesthouse in Nazereth. After an hour of looking, then with the assistance of some brand new friends, I hired a second car. I went to bring Maria to the counter to meet the new driver and on the way Maria spied Nicky, the original driver. To say the least I felt bad for the new driver and tried to pay him the fare anyway, but he would only accept my smile; what a wonderful way to start this journey.
As you may know ther is much unrest in Israel right now. That unrest is mainly in the Gaza Strip, which we have no intent to visit, but has spilled over into other areas of Israel. On our way to Nazereth we passed through a predominant Arabic town that was in protest and there was riot police and reporters all over the place. As an aside I find it interesting that protests, reporters and police all go hand-in-hand, I wonder what would happen to a protest if the police and reporters failed to show up?
On a spiritual note, which did nit start out that way, I received a book about one mans' adventure walking the Appilachin Trail from Georgia to Maine, called "HikingThrough" by Paul Stutzman. I recevied the book from my friend Bob Jordan back in Cassadaga, NY who has a great love for the outdoors. Bob's intent is to read the book, sign it, then pass it along. I had planned to read the book on this trio then pass it on to Bishop Michael who is an avid hicker; however I did not anticipate the spiritual effect the book would have on and prepare me for this journey. Stutzman's life journey paralelled mine in the loss of his wife to cancer and his copping with that loss. As it turned out I read the entire 300 plus pages on the flights over; I now intend to leave the book here to see where God wishes for it to land next.
Today is a zero day of walking. We will start with Mass at 8 with the sisters, then explore ancient Nazereth. Since Christanity is the minority of the Abramanic religions and the other two celebrate the sabbath on Friday and Saturday, Sunday here is a working day. We will get prepared for the start of our walking journey tomorrow by finding the start of the trail, these things are not always as easy as one may guess, then enjoy the town.
The picures are from the balcony courtyard of our room. The picture of the Madonna and child is on the wall of the courtyard, what a pleasent way to start the day. I will identify the church on the hill and report back later.
Pray for our journey and know we are praying for you all as well.
Nazereth, July 6, 2014