Tooday we went to Har Bental. The peak of the mountain that some years ago was used by Syrian Army. There are still bunkers and other things reminding hat time. Anyway the spot provides a marvelous view towards Lebanon, Syria and of course Israel that controls the hill now.
However the magnificent view of Mount Hermon inspired me to think about a journey a young Jew was taking down through the plains, the journey that had the outcome he didn’t expect. The young Jew was St Paul the Apostle who was travelling to Damascus which is behind the Mt Hermon. As he was approaching the Hermon Range Jesus Christ appeared to him. After the appearance Paul lost his sight and had to be taken to Damascus where he didn’t imprison Christians as he was planning to but he became a Christian himself. Looking at the breathtaking mountain with some snow still covering its peak I thought about Paul who might have seen this same mountain as the last thing before Jesus appeared to him and this apparition was more impressing.
The last thing that I would like to mention was our visit to one of the springs that creates the Jordan River. We saw two of the three: Panias and Dan. However as Panias is associated with Caesarea Philippi it overshadowed all the others to me. This is the place where Jesus asked his disciples who people think he is. Here Peter answered: “You are th Son of God who was to come.” The significance of the site is so big to our Christian faith that I kind of overlooked the ruins of the Roman buildings. I rather felt that some interior voice is asking me the same question Jesus put to his Apostles. “Who do you think I am?” That’s why I couldn’t help reciting the Nicene Creed as I stood at the spring of Panias that with three other springs creates the Jordan River.
Fr Daniel OMI
An Oblate Priest