Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Capernaum with Jesus by Patrick Setto

First off I would like to wish everyone a blessed feast day of St Rita of Cascia. I have always had a strong devotion to her... she is a very powerful intercessor!

St. Rita of Cascia 
Drawing by P. Setto
  Today has been a very restful and reflective day in comparison to days past that have been more busy and tiresome. This morning on our way to Capernaum we stopped at the Franciscan Church which commemorates the place of third appearance of Jesus to the apostles after his resurrection, and St Peter's confession of love for Jesus. We were able to visit the church and stand in the water of the sea of Galilee. It was so strange because the fish came so close to my feet, where they usually are afraid and swim off. I really love the story of Jesus appearing to the apostles after the resurrection on the beach in John 21.

We find read that Peter decides to go fishing, which is what he used to do before he met Jesus, and he and the others aren't able to catch anything. After all that Peter and the apostles saw and experienced with Jesus, they still somehow went back to their former way of life. However, they were unsuccessful because they were actually called to be fisher's of men, like Jesus told them.

Jesus tells them to cast their nets on the right side of the boat, and of course, just like they had seen before, they caught so many fish they could hardly haul it on to shore. I thought about how they went back to their former way of life because they didn't know how else to live without having Jesus with them anymore... they were lost without Him! When he appears to them, it is then that they are successful and find abundance! Jesus reminds them again of who He is and all that they had seen and heard from Him.

After spending time on the shore there in prayer, we next made our way to the town of Capernaum where Jesus spent around 18 months and also where the remains of the house of St Peter's house is located. There is a church built over the ruins of the house where Jesus healed Peter's mother in-law, and there we celebrated mass. After mass we prayed in particular for ourselves and all those we know who are battling some sort of illness, whether body or soul. Jesus took her by the hand, healed her, and after that she got up and began to serve him, scripture says. I prayed in that very same place, that the Lord would heal me and all those who are ill (physical or spiritual) so that we may also be able to serve him better in this life.
We also got to see the same synagogue, which was only feet away from Peter's house, that Jesus taught in and performed many miracles, such as healing the man with the unclean spirit (Mark 1:21).

After mass, we prayed our thanksgiving (for receiving communion) on the shore line where Jesus called Peter and some of the other apostles like the St John and James (Sons of Zebedee). It was there that I remembered how God called me to seminary and I began to experienced a really profound sense of Jesus calling me again but to His priesthood this time. I realized how unworthy I am, and kept and thanking Jesus for choosing me to spread the Gospel message.

Overall, what has affected me most deeply while being here is having a greater understanding of how our almighty and transcendent God has chosen to enter our weak and broken world and chose a certain place, community, and ethnicity to join and became just like one of us. Yes he changed the world with his life, death and resurrection, however - the tomb is empty!- He has ascended to heaven.. but he hasn't left us orphans. Truthfully, its THE EUCHARIST that has hit me the most on this trip.

Jesus chose to walk this earth, die and rise and we can visit these holy sites, however he continues to make that SAME physical presence available to us daily in giving us His actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion! Jesus not only chose to leave his throne and all His glory over 2000 years ago in bethlehem, he continues to do the same when he leaves his throne and all his glory and takes on flesh in the Eucharist.. in order to unite himself to us more closely! This is the wonderful mystery of Our Faith that gives us hope that Jesus has not left us- we are not left with some holy sites where Jesus was... We actually have the SAME Jesus who was, and still IS - in the Eucharist!

 I've prayed and will continue to pray that every grace and blessing that I've received by visiting these holy sites will shower upon you and your families as well! Thank you again for all your prayers and support that have made this trip possible for us! God bless you always!

(Special shout out to all my wonderful family and friends out there who are reading this- You know who you are- Love you all!)

In Jesus Through Mary,

Patrick Setto

On the Sea of Galilee

On The Sea of Galilee Two by SirGuy1001 on Photosynth

Greek Orthodox In Capernaum

Greek Orthodox in Capernaum by SirGuy1001 on Photosynth

To the Sea of Galilee

To The Sea of Galilee by SirGuy1001 on Photosynth

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this beautiful reflection. And thank you for answering the Lord's call to be a priest for His Church! God bless you along your journey and in your priestly ministry. Praying for you and all the pilgrims. I've been to many of these places as well on a pilgrimage in 2009. What a blessing!