Holy Land – Day 6: Mount of Olives and Dominus Flevit

(This is a continuation of our March, 2016 Pilgrimage to the Holy Lands)

After visiting Bethlehem and having a tasty falafel lunch, we traveled back to Jerusalem to visit the Mount of Olives.

Church of the Pater Noster

In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, as part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs the disciples in the proper way to pray:

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you. In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

 “This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one. “

“If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

The Church of the Pater Noster, built on this site, has about ceramic plaques with the Lord’s Prayer in about 140 different languages.

This is an immensely peaceful place that overlooks the Kidron Valley on the east side of Jerusalem.  It offers a spectacular view of the Temple Mount.

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Church of Dominus Flevit

Just down the hill from the Church of the Pater Noster is the small domed Church of Dominus Flevit.

This is a small modern church built in the 1950’s.  It’s teardrop shape is meant to symbolize Christ’s tears as he foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in the Gospel of Luke 19:41-44.  Jesus was making his final entry into the city on Palm Sunday, coming down from the Mount of Olives, when he stopped and lamented the future of the city:

As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”

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Next:  The Garden of Gethsemane and The Church of the Agony.