Day 2: The Judean Desert, Jericho, Nazareth
“Again the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor…” (Matthew 4:8)
We began the day overlooking the Judean Desert at sunrise. After time in prayer and silence, we hiked to the highest point where it was hard not to hear the words from Matthew. This is where Jesus wandered for forty days while being tempted by Satan.
“Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word…” (Luke 1:38)
The end of the day was spent thinking about Mary. We visited the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation followed by a walk through the rain to the Catholic Church of the Annunciation. The former encompasses Mary’s Well and the latter Mary’s home. Both churches claim theirs is where the angel Gabriel appears to Mary, telling her that she would conceive the Christ Child.
As the day draws to a close, I can’t help but think about all the temptations of my life. How can I ask Jesus for help in saying no to those things that pull me away from a closer relationship with God? And how can I think of Mary and her courage? Saying yes to God can be a scary thing, but as Mary shows us, can be more rewarding than anything we can possibly imagine.
Catherine Outten Olivo
Right: Photo 1 – Mary’s Well at the Greek Church of the Annunciation
Photo 2 – Mary’s Home at the Catholic Church of the Annunciation
Below – Group Photo in the Judean Desert