Day 3: Friday

Friday was a transition day, from the Galilee (in northern Israel) to Jerusalem. We began the day at the River Jordan where Msgr. Souckar led all the pilgrims in the renewal of their baptismal promises and some entered the river itself. We then traveled south for a couple of hours, following the Jordan River which also is the border between Israel and Jordan. The geography changed dramatically from the relatively green and vibrant Galilee to an arid desert. Along the way, we saw several groupings of Bedouin, many of whom are shepherds and still live as they did the the the time of the Lord. By the afternoon we were in Bethlehem. At the Church of the Nativity we venerated the spot where Jesus Christ was born and the place of the manger. Mass was celebrated in the chapel of Saint Jerome who lived for many years in Bethlehem as he translated the Sacred Scriptures into Latin and where he died in 420. Finally, as the sun was setting and the Sabbath (Shabbat) was beginning for the Jewish people, we arrived at the holy city of Jerusalem. Tomorrow promises to be a very meaningful day, as we enter Jerusalem.