As the sun rises anew each day over the Golan Heights and spills its reflection onto the Sea of Galilee, one can’t help but marvel that Jesus enjoyed this same sight as He descended from the mountain after withdrawing alone at night to pray.
Pilgrims throughout the ages have proclaimed the Holy Land a Fifth Gospel. For it is here, in this place, that the Word became flesh and chose to dwell among us. Even amid all stripe of human turmoil, there is a spiritual peace beyond all understanding awaiting in the Galilee Region. It provides a geographical landscape in which we may completely free ourselves of worldly distractions to truly encounter the Father, as manifested through the Son, by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
This earthly witness of salvation history has much to tell of Christ revealing himself to mankind as the great “I AM.” It is where He spoke of Beatitudes, healed the sick, cast out demons, multiplied loaves and fishes, stilled turbulent waters and nourished apostles by the shore after His Resurrection. It is where He said, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”
It is here Our Lord beckoned disciples, “Follow me.”
In this place, all senses converge to summon reflection and prayer. Which, in turn, ignites a quest for a deeper connection with God. A hunger to know Jesus. An openness to the Holy Spirit.
In the quiet of the morning, and again as twilight ever so gently draws near, the nature of the Galilee Region evokes Divine Presence. Valleys give way to hillsides. And, hillsides recede into valleys. Birds call, waves soothingly lap on the shore of the Sea, and breezes invite all manner of herbs, flowers, and trees to emit a delightful scent.
Returning home from pilgrimage, I sought ways to maintain the spiritual peace found in the Holy Land. Many avenues have aided in achieving this goal. Reading scripture, going on virtual pilgrimage, Bible Studies, and attending virtual Mass from Experience Magdala have all become routine occurrences.
One of my favorite discoveries since returning from Israel has been Galilee Dreams. Coming to know its owner and founder, Noa Zion, has been a gift in itself. Noa is passionate about bringing the Galilee experience to everyone around the world. Galilee Dreams products help to do just that. Smell is a powerful sense when it comes to enkindling memory. Sachets from Galilee Dreams are sprinkled throughout our home and I often give them a gentle squeeze to release fragrances from the Region. In that instant, it is almost as if I am back in the Holy Land. And, for that sensation, I am forever grateful.