Sunday, January 9, 2011

Holy Land Pilgrimage 2010: Day #8a Gethsemane and the Kidron Valley

December 26, 2010 6:30 PM
Day #8

What a busy day! We began with Mass at Gethsemane over the rock where Jesus supposedly lay praying. We spent some time in a private section of the garden, too, which was great. The rest of the garden is normally just part of the church complex, but across the street is a nice private section of what little remains of the garden of olives. It was very peaceful and we were able to spend a little time praying there, like Jesus, being able to look up and actually see the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus was to be crucified.

We then went to 'Dominus Flevit,' a lookout with a little chapel which marks the spot in Jesus' arrival at Jerusalem on Palm Sunday where He wept over the residents of the city (see Luke 19:41 and Matthew 23:37-39). That was definitely my favorite view of the city. I plan on returning there.

We also visited the Grotto of Gethsemane, the supposed 'Tomb of Mary,' and the Chapel of the 'Ascension,' which were all rather uninspiring, to be honest. I'm of the mind to seriously doubt the last two, though I know St. Ignatius of Loyola was convinced of the Chapel of the Ascension and I could be persuaded, I suppose. Anyway, we then walked through the Kidron Valley like Jesus would have, stopping to visit Hezekiah's Water tunnel and the Pool of Siloam, which were kinda neat. Finally, we entered the Old City through the Zion Gate, very briefly stopped at the Holy Sepulcher, and grabbed lunch. Some of the other guys returned later for a tour of the Sepulcher, but I was pretty wiped out and figured that I would be returning there often, so I just rested.

No comments:

Post a Comment