In one of our first lectures, our course Director, The Reverend Rodney Aist, PhD, shared that a Pilgrimage includes the Fifth Gospel which is your experience to include a time of discernment—intentional decision making and finding meaning in actual experience.
When we first arrived and we walked down the dorm hall I noticed that all of the rooms had names like “The Nazareth Room,” “The Baptism of Jesus Room,” etc., all of which made sense to me. Then we stopped at our room which was called “The Tabgha Room,” which didn’t have initial meaning for me.
Day 6, I found myself in Tabgha, an area situated on the north western shore of the Sea of Galilee. It is traditionally accepted as the place of the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and is home to the Church of the Multiplication, a Catholic church dating back to 4AD. It houses a beautiful mosaic of the fish and loaves.
We took a boat ride on the Galilee and read Mark 4:35-41 and Amy Taylor, Porter Fellow/Course Assistant shared a beautiful reflection reminding us of God’s omnipresence and that he is with us in the boat, this journey we call life. We were encouraged to remember that God is always always with us even as we weather life’s storms. God is ever present and faithful and we need to be the same. This was a powerful message to receive and reflect upon while boating in the Galilee Sea.
We returned to this area a second day and enjoyed a beautiful Eucharist service on the edge of the shore. The shoreline was a lush green, the water a sparkling sapphire, birds chirped naturally while a gentle breeze filled the air. Words and pictures don’t do justice to the calm and peace that I experienced here. My thoughts turned to my love of the beach and the ocean and how no matter what storm I may be experiencing in my life I am always calm and at peace when looking out over the sand and the waves and then it hit me. The feelings that I was experiencing at the Sea of Galilee are the ones that I’ve felt throughout my life at the beach—my happy place, my constant place of rejuvenation and now I understand that this is my place of prayer and connection with God and why I was placed in the Tabgha Room. It is and has been a place of great meaning for me. I hope and pray that I can bring home this feeling and peace and transfer it consistently to my everyday life. –Linda Lee Malone
The Linda Lee Malone and Brian Malone at Sea of Galilee
Eucharist at the shore of Galilee
The Tabgha Room