Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
Our day has been quite wonderful. We left the Sisters of Nazareth Convent after breakfast and drove to The Sea of Galilee, which is the region where Jesus spent the vast majority of his ministry, teaching, leading, healing, and more. Our first order of business was to celebrate the Eucharist together as a wonderfully diverse gathering of Christ’s Body. (see picture above) To share in the Body and Blood of Jesus in the area where he walked is quite the experience!
We then spent the rest of our day in Capernaum. This is widely considered to be “The Town of Jesus”. Yes, he was born in Bethlehem, and yes his hometown was Nazareth. But remember Luke chapter 4. Jesus was not welcome in Nazareth and so made his home along the Sea of Galilee with Peter and Peter’s mother.
Our class then spent the next hour pouring over the stories and teachings of Jesus that were based in Capernaum as well as the surrounding areas. Over and over and over again, Jesus shatters the notion that God was only for a certain group of people. Remember, the Jews believed that the Messiah was going to restore The Temple in Jerusalem. But Jesus, brilliantly, let’s people know that he’s not just here to proclaim Good News to only certain people. His life, death, and resurrection are a COSMIC event. It’s for the WHOLE WORLD!
Just one example: the cultural norm in Jesus’ day was that, in order to begin a time of prayer, there had to be at least 10 men gathered. Otherwise, it wasn’t an official prayer. It’s from Leviticus 22:32. The word “midst” is the Hebrew word MINYAN and refers to the need to have at least 10 men gathered. However, Jesus turns this law on it’s head in Matthew 18:20 when he says that it doesn’t take 10 men, it only takes 2 or 3 PEOPLE (men OR women). When that happens, God is in their “midst”. This kind of thing happens OVER and OVER throughout Jesus’ teachings.
He takes the social norms, the religious rules, the things that people put in God’s way, and shows them the Way of Jesus.
peace to you