Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
2 January 2018
Greg Kandra

Melkite Greek Archbishop Georges Bacouni visits some of his flock at St. Vincent de Paul Hospital in Nazareth. (photo: Geries Abdo, courtesy Melkite Catholic Archbishopric)

The December 2017 edition of ONE features a Letter from Galilee, by Georges Bacouni, who serves the people where Jesus lived:

What a blessing, to be in this particular part of the world — where Jesus was born, grew up, proclaimed the Good News, was crucified and rose from the dead.

The Lord entrusted me with the flock of his homeland and to follow in the footsteps of the apostles.

When I was taught how to meditate on a Gospel passage, I was asked sometimes to imagine the places where Jesus lived: Capernaum, Tiberias Lake, Nazareth, Jerusalem.

Now I know all these places, and they remind me of the historical facts. But Jesus is not only part of the history, he is still alive and in the midst of his church.

When you enter Peter’s house in Capernaum, where Jesus healed the paralytic; when you see the place where he fed five thousand people; when you are in a boat in the middle of the lake where he walked on the water; and many other holy sites, I assure you that you feel you are sharing the experience of the apostles and the crowds. You feel privileged being Christian. Visiting these sites — let alone living there — is a spiritual retreat.

Many of my predecessors used to say, “I am the archbishop of Jesus.” I don’t dare say that, but it’s true in a way that the bishop in Galilee is responsible for Jesus’ hometown.

What a blessing! But in the same time, it’s a huge responsibility and difficult mission for many reasons.

Read more in this Letter from Galilee to discover why.