Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mary's Day by Joseph Campbell

After driving by bus for about 30 minutes from our guest house in Kyriat Yearim, we arrived at the church in Bethany which commemorates the place where Jesus began his entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Nearby the church was a tomb from the first century which, most likely, closely resembles the tomb in which our Lord was buried. Next we made our way to the Mount of Olives to visit the Russian Orthodox church dedicated to Mary Magdalene. With its seven onion-shaped cupolas plated in gold glistening in the Israeli sun, it looked like something right out of Aladdin. 

The inside was beautifully decorated in mosaics and frescoes, and the large group of Russian pilgrims chanting in the background made for a prayerful environment. From there we descended to the foot of the Mount of Olives and entered the shrine of Mary's tomb. Modern Jerusalem's ground level is much higher than that of the first century, so we had to descend deep into the ground to reach her tomb. With mother's day being so close, I prayed especially for my mom at the place where the mother of Jesus rested before she was assumed into heaven. Right next to the shrine of Mary's tomb is a small cave turned into a chapel which traditionally is the place where the disciples fell asleep while our Lord was in agony a stone's throw away in Gethsemane. 

During the Mass that was celebrated there by Msgr. Trapp, I was struck by the humanity of the disciples. Even though Christ was at the most difficult point in his ministry and the culmination of his entire earthly mission, his disciples--those closest to him--were sleeping! Yet these same men became the foundation of the Church that is still thriving throughout the world today. It certainly gives us hope, for we are often not only "sleeping on the job" when Christ needs us but even actively sinning against Him. With God's grace, we can overcome our weakness and sin and become great saints that transform the world like the Apostles did.

Mary, mother of the Church, pray for us!

On the Palm Sunday Route

Palm Sunday Walk One by SirGuy1001 on Photosynth

Continuing on the Palm Sunday Route
Palm Sunday Walk Two by SirGuy1001 on Photosynth

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