To the Mount of Olives
Our Lord wept twice from this mount: before His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and again shortly afterwards during His agony on Holy Thursday night.
Built in the shape of a teardrop, the church of Dominus Flevit commemorates the place from which He wept as recorded in Luke 19:41 – 44: “And when He drew near, seeing the city, He wept over it saying: If thou hadst known, and that in this day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes..because thou hast not known the time of the visitation.” On this Mount of Olives, we find these important destinations of pilgrimage: the Garden of Gethsemane in which Our Lord sweat His Precious Blood and in which He was betrayed by Judas with a kiss; the Church of the Pater Noster, built on the site from which Our Lord taught the crowd to pray the “Our Father”; the Mosque of the Ascension, which was once a Christian shrine and which houses the right footprint of Our Lord on the site from which He ascended into heaven; and the Tomb of the Virgin, which is traditionally held as the burial place of the Blessed Virgin Mary before Her Assumption into heaven.
On the Way of the Cross
As Catholics, we are familiar with the Stations of the Cross. Tradition holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary used to walk the path that Our Lord walked with His heavy cross to Calvary, stopping to meditate at different points along the way. Some of her friends among the early Christians of Jerusalem soon began to accompany Her in this devotion, and this is thought to be the beginning of the Stations of the Cross as we know this practice today.
Prayer to Imitate the Suffering Christ
O Jesus, You have called me to suffer because You on Your part suffered for me, leaving me an example that I might follow. When You were insulted, You did not return the insult. When You were mistreated, You did not counter with threats but entrusted Yourself to the One Who judges justly. By Your wounds we are healed. Help me to imitate You in suffering. Let me break with sin by means of my sufferings, so that I may no longer live according to the lusts of sinners but according to the will of the Father. Since You Yourself have suffered and been tempted, I know that You are able to bring aid to all who suffer and are tempted. I entrust myself to You and to the Father, my Creator, knowing that You will never fail me. Amen.
To His Tomb
Did you know that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem houses the sacred tomb of Christ? Pilgrims may touch the stone that enclosed the Redeemer until His Resurrection. The site of the Crucifixion is marked by a stone in the Golgotha Chapel. Amidst the glorious collection of relics and shrines, a stone basin in the courtyard marks the center of the world as it was according to ancient map-makers.