Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Holy Land Pilgrimage 2010: Day #10 The Room and the Rock

December 28, 2010 3:00 PM
Day #10

This morning we had Mass at the Franciscan chapel abutting the Cenacle (which is now a mosque, remember). One of our priests gave an excellent homily about the Eucharist and God's desire to be with us. I broke away rather quickly from the group after Mass and went to visit the Dome of the Rock/ the Temple Mount/ Mount Moriah. It was nearly closed when we got there, so we didn't have long, but we got to look around and spend some time up there. They informed us that we would never be able to go inside and see the rock, but we got to see the rest of the place. It was more edifying than I thought it would be, especially after a talk given to us by a Legionary the night before which helped to pull all the places of salvation history together for us. I was walking in the place where Abraham was ready to offer up Isaac, his 'only begotten son.' Jesus probably would have been able to see that spot from Calvary, the Only-Begotten, the Lamb of Sacrifice offered up just as the Father had promised to Abraham that short distance away so many years prior.

I tried to go to the Dormition Abbey again to pray, but it was closing just as I arrived, so I ate lunch with some of the guys. I really enjoyed myself with them. They're a good group of God-fearing men. Afterward, two of us decided to try to make it over to Gethsemane, but it was closed, so we tried farther up the mount at Dominus Flevit, which was also closed. I didn't want to go all the way back when it was going to open in an hour, so I decided to pray a Holy Hour in the Jewish graveyard just across the way on the Mount of Olives. It was a huge sea of white tombstones, all marking people resting in the hope of the resurrection of the dead, yet without the full understanding of the hope which Christ brings. I prayed for all of them and I offered a Divine Mercy chaplet for all of us. Then I went back and am now here in Dominus Flevit (well, I was there at the time I wrote this...), overlooking the city of Jerusalem.

I ended up (rewriting tenses to prevent awkwardness) spending another hour there and at the Garden, went back and rehydrated and took a nap, then went back to the Garden of Gethsemane for a Holy Hour that night, which I discussed more in my next journal entry.

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