Holy Land Pilgrimage Jan. 08: Day 6

A stunning, albeit cloudy and rainy, panoramic view of Jerusalem atop the Mount of Olives (from where Jesus made his triumphal entry into the Holy City on his Palm Sunday procession) was a wonderful start to day 6 of the Holy Land pilgrimage for all. Here the pilgrims had the opportunity to get their picture taken with and/or ride a camel... and some were brave enough to do the latter.

Riding a Camel on Mt of Olives

Riding a Camel on Mt of Olives

The pilgrims are not just studying and learning the Gospel on this pilgrimage, but they are living it. On the road from the Mount of Olives the pilgrims' actions reflect the charitable way by which we are called to give to our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities as they give alms to the poor.

Giving alms to the poor

Donkey on Road from Mt of Olives

From there, it was a walk to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jeff teaches about the significance of the 10th of Nisan, explaining how Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem was the same day that the sacrificial flock was being brought into the city walls to be inspected before becoming the Passover sacrifice.

Jeff Teaching at Gethsemane

The pilgrims go on to learn that just as those present on that first Palm Sunday shouted "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest" (Mt 21:9), so too do we sing out those words as we come to the point in the Mass when Christ is actually made present on the alter. Contemplating what they have just heard, the pilgrims head to Mass in the Cave of Gethsemane.

Mass in Gethsemane

Mass in Gethsemane

With Fr. Rich as their celebrant, assisted by Deacon Bob Boharic, the pilgrims celebrate an intimate and emotional Mass at Gethsemane.

Mass in Gethsemane

Then, it was outside to walk some more. Lorraine is standing in front of the Garden of Gethsemane where the pilgrims learned of the scientific tests that were done in this garden and found that some of these trees are over 2000 years old.

Garden of Gethsemane

After Mass, the pilgrims were off to lunch and then they went to view the large bronze Menorah across from the Knesset (Parliament) and learned from Roni, their guide, how it was a gift of the British Government and Peoples to the State of Israel in 1956 as well as the symbolism behind it.

Menorah Across from Knesset

From there it was off to the Shrine of the Book where the pilgrims were able to see the Dead Sea Scrolls on display and view the Model City of Jerusalem. After a day filled with sight seeing, a warm dinner and comfy bed awaited them back at their hotel in Jerusalem.