Bishop Nelson Perez and 50 pilgrims from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland began a 10-day journey to the Holy Land on Oct. 23. The Catholic Community Foundation coordinated the trip and Deacon Dennis Conrad from St. Christopher Parish in Rocky River will be sending regular updates to share their experiences throughout the pilgrimage. His third installment is below.
The third day of our pilgrimage was focused on Mary’s role in Jesus’ life, and therefore in ours.
We celebrated Mass at the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. This church is built over Mary’s house where the Angel Gabriel came to give Mary the news that she would be the mother of our Messiah.
A few steps away is the Church of St. Joseph, which is built over Joseph’s house, the home of the Holy Family. A mosaic of the Holy Family was added to the walls many years later. The mosaic shows Mary doing one of the many normal tasks in first century Israel -- making bread. The mosaic reminds us that while Mary was the mother of God, she was also an ordinary person like each of us. If Mary could say “yes” to God and still maintain her family life, shouldn’t each of us also be able do the same?
Today, the pilgrimage asks us to consider what in our lives is preventing us from saying “yes” to God.