Each of the four chapels are home to a mosaic that illustrates events from the public life of Jesus and each mosaic is an open window inviting us toward the infinite love of God in the Gospel. Each chapel has enough room for up to 50 people and an expressive mosaic depicting a biblical event near the Sea of Galilee.They are realistic representations in dialogue with the original sites and invite us to meditate the Gospel scene in its authentic context.
The first chapel facing the lake is the Walking on Water Chapel, representing the story in Matthew where Peter’s faith was tested by walking on water with Jesus. “‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'” Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV
The second chapel facing the lake is the Fishers of Men Chapel, representing another story in Matthew where “Jesus Calls His First Disciples”. “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4: 18-20 NIV
In the chapels looking towards the town of Magdala and Mt. Arbel, the mosaics reflect the other central theme of Magdala: women.
One of these chapels is of course the Mary Magdalene Chapel, where we remember the story in Luke of Jesus casting out demons. “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out”. Luke 8: 1-2 NIV
The other is dedicated to the daughter of Jairus. This holds great significance because she was the only woman whom Jesus raised from the dead. In this we see the Magdala messages woven together. “He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.” Mark 5: 41-42 NIV
The mosaics illustrate a fundamental theme of divine action in history: the finger of God. There are numerous expressions in the Bible and in the liturgy where the finger of God creates, saves, heals and frees. Our mosaics seek to express the loving power of God that is bestowed on men through the actions of his divine hand. At the same time they help enrich the figure of Jesus – God and man – through biblical symbols of profound significance: the palm tree, the olive tree, the vine and the boat.
Next: Encounter Chapel