Thursday, December 10, 2015

Dominus flevit

I am taking up the blogging about my visit to the Holy Land. Sunday November 1, our group spent in Old Jerusalem. We approached the city from the Mount of Olives looking down at enormous Jewish burial sites with all the dead waiting for their final resurrection and judgement.

Jerusalem is located on a hill with the golden Dome of the rock always visible

The stones on the tombs bear testimony of many visits.
On our way into the historical center of Jerusalem we passed the site where Dominus flevit over the city:

Luke 19:41-44: And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.

This visitation happened in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, following a massive revolt by the Jewish population.

Mass at the church Dominus flevit

Mosaic floor of the previous church showing bred, fish, and grapes

Another mass below a tent at a terrace above

Next we visited the nearby garden of Gethsemane on the slopes of the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed in agony and was arrested later.

Harvesting olives the classical way
however black plastic sheets replace the original cloths.

Luke 22:39-54: And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

Jesus agonizing at Gethsemane
Over the centuries also here many churches were erected, destroyed, and rebuilt.

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?

Judas kiss

When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them [Petrus] smote the servant of the high priest [Malchus], and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.

View from the basilica on to the ancient city wall with,
in the center, the Golden Gate. It leads directly to the Temple Mount.
According to the legend Jesus had entered Jerusalem through this gate.

Did Jesus pass this old olive tree?
We we left Gethsemane looking up to the Golden Gate that Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent had bricked up in the 16th century so that infidels (Jews and Christians) could not get to the Tempel Mount from outside the city. We walked up to the Lions' Gate instead from where the Via Dolorosa starts.

I shall stop here my blogs about the Holy Land to get in phase with the New Testament, So I shall blog about our visit to Bethlehem before Christmas and continue the Holy Year thereafter through Easter 2016.

Standing in front of Jerusalem's Lions' Gate

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