Sunday, May 4, 2014

No Greater Love by Mark Tibai

We woke up to another great breakfast provided by the Brigettine Sisters at their guest house overlooking the Kidron Valley. At 8am sharp we departed by bus to the Jaffa Gate. Inside and to the right of the gate is the Tower of David. The Tower of David is an old fortress that now serves as a museum and an archaeological site. The museum was very informative  and the sights from the towers gave us some of the best views of Jerusalem yet.

     After spending about an hour at the Tower of David we then went to walk on the walls that surround the old city of Jerusalem. Temperatures were approaching 100 degrees, so the consumption of water really increased today! I really enjoyed the fort and the wall and I could not help to think of all those that defended the city from attack. You can walk on the wall around the entire city, but our journey on the wall ended at the Temple Mount.

     The Western Wall which is also known as the Wailing Wall is located at the base of the Temple Mount. This wall is the holy site for the Jewish people. The Jews go to the wall to pray because they believe that God is present on the other side of the wall. Many of us went to the wall to pray and found it very moving. I personally prayed that Jews and Catholics could one day be united.

Mark diligently working
on this post
     After we visited the Western Wall we had some free time to have lunch and to wander as we saw fit. I enjoyed an excellent shawarma sandwich at a local restaurant in the Christian Quarter. I then went with a few of my brothers back to the Holy Sepulcher to pray my holy hour. When I arrived I decided that I wanted to go to the top of Calvary to pray and touch the actual spot where Jesus died. Calvary is where our Salvation was consummated by Jesus Christ. How should I react as I approach such a location? I was internally quiet and kept repeating the Jesus Prayer as I approached (Jesus, Son of the Living God have mercy on me a sinner). When it was about my time to touch the stone of Calvary I began to invoke the Holy Spirit to come upon me. It was a quick, but somber moment when I knelt below the altar. All I could do was thank Jesus for what he did for me so that I could be with him in heaven.

     We are all now back at the guest house and are looking forward to Mass where Jesus dies for us in an un-bloody manner. Please know of our love and prayers for all of you.

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