Mount of Olives

Trip Start Mar 16, 2014
Trip End Mar 30, 2014

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Flag of Israel  , Jerusalem District,
Saturday, March 22, 2014

Theme: Holy Thursday & Palm Sunday

Our day starts at the Mt of Olives this morning where we visit the Church of the 'Pater Noster' commemorating the site where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer (Mt 6:7-15). Saying the Our Father as a group was indeed very special at this place. To also see this universal prayer in every language of the world posted on the walls showed the universality of God's message.

We then enjoyed a panoramic view over the city and a spectacular photographic as we overlooked the old city of Jerusalem. Seeing the walls and the grave sites of so many people was overwhelming.

We then commenced our walk down the Palm Sunday Road, we wander past the tombs of the Prophets Haggai, Malachi and Zechariah before arriving at the Dominus Flevit for Mass. This walk made the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem real in that you could picture the event in your mind as you strolled down the hill. Arriving at the church which was built on the site where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Lk 19:41-44) prepared us for another very moving mass. The mass overlooking the old city of Jerusalem was breathtaking. It was a time for us to pray to our God for our families and communities.

We then visited the Garden of Gethsemane, where we entered the Church of the Agony containing the bare rock upon which Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest. The outside garden contains olive trees, the roots of which go back to the time of Jesus. Praying at this rock brought us into a deepening of our understanding of the pain that Christ was suffering as he prepared for what was to come. We came to realise our own pain and struggles in our lives and we were able to place them before Jesus. Touching the rock was very moving and allowed you to present the struggles in your life to Jesus in the hope of his understanding.

From here we see the path Jesus was taken along as a prisoner while ascending Mt Zion to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas. Here, at the Church of St Peter in Gallicantu, Our Lord was interrogated and imprisoned, while Peter denied Jesus three times. We then continued on to the Cenacle, room of the Last Supper and the Church of Dormition where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. Both these places allowed us to better understand what happened in regards to these events and new light was shone on these stories so we came away with greater understanding and wisdom.

Late afternoon we visited the Pontifical Institute – Notre Dame Jerusalem Centre, where we experienced a unique presentation on the Shroud of Turin. Beautifully explained to us we heard of this special cloth and what he revealed about Jesus crucifixion . Afterwards we enjoyed a special rooftop dinner and were presented with our certifiable and cross of our pilgrimage. These were given to us by the Christian representatives of the Christian tour company that had whelmed and showed us around Jerusalem. These gifts were even made more special as they showed us that our visit was greatly appreciated by the Christian community in Jerusalem.
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