Two weeks ago today, I finally made a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum for their exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Much of the exhibit was focused on providing context to the scrolls, as well as the brief history of their finding and restoration.
One week ago today, I was scheduled to be in Qumran, the hiding place of the scrolls for nearly 2,000 years.
That didn't happen. Instead, I found myself floating on the Sea of Galilee. Not actually floating (I don't possess the charism of levitation) but rather, sailing - on the same waters that Peter fished, the same waters from which Jesus preached to his landlocked followers, and the same waters on which both of them walked.
We were in Galilee to film a documentary following in the footsteps of Pope Benedict, who visited the area last May. The experience on the waves of Galilee was a brief hiatus from our busy filming schedule which took us from Nazareth to Jerusalem to Bethlehem and beyond, but don't let me get ahead of myself.
From the port in Ein Gev, a prosperous kibbutz not far from the city of Tiberius, we sailed along the shores that Jesus and his disciples traversed during his ministry. We saw the Mount of the Beatitudes, where Jesus told his followers to be "salt and light".
We saw the church of Peter the Fisherman, where the resurrected Christ asked the repentant Apostle if he loved him. We reflected on the fact that Christianity was spread by the waves, unlike any other religion. That for all his talk of shepherds and sheep, Jesus chose fishermen to spread his Gospel. And our hosts, modern-day fishermen of Galilee and young volunteers working and living in the kibbutz, fittingly caught plenty of St. Peter's fish as they cast their nets for our cameras.
Producer Kris Dmytrenko is leading the project with Gita Hosek, our Director of Programming and Production. Visual auteur George Hosek, and I, your humble camera assistant (everyone's a blogger these days, eh?), round out the team making this program, which will air on the first anniversary of the Holy Father's visit to the Holy Land.
There are more details to come, and more experiences to share, but as the highlight of my trip thus far, I thought our voyage on the calm waves of Galilee was a good place to start.