The Pinnacle of Faith!

What is the pinnacle of our Catholic Faith? The answer: the Easter Triduum, which starts on the evening of Holy Thursday and concludes on the evening of Easter Sunday. Although these events occur on three consecutive days, together, they represent one liturgical event which marks the unfolding of Christ’s Paschal Mystery. Included is Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday’s Passion of the Lord, and Easter Sunday’s Celebration of the Resurrection. Please join me on a virtual pilgrimage to the Holy Land, as we walk with Jesus, from His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, to His Passion, Death and glorious Resurrection. My hope is that this journey will somehow enhance your Holy Week Celebration, as you anticipate and encounter the real presence of our Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Enjoy!

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Paved road, on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, to the lavish praise of the townspeople shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9). Celebrating Him as their promised Messiah, they threw clothes and palm branches in front of Him in homage.

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The Chapel of Dominus Flevit, on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus wept for Jerusalem. As He came within sight of the city, Jesus “wept over it and said: ‘If only you had known the path to peace this day; but you have completely lost it from view!'” (Luke 19:41-42).

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The Beautiful Gate, contained within the present wall built by the Turks in the 17th century, is the gate that Christians venerate as the entry point of Jesus after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, celebrated on Palm Sunday.

 

 

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Remains of the Jewish Temple where Jesus entered and “overturned the money changers’ tables” saying, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:15 and 17)

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This Upper Room in Jerusalem marks the proposed location where the Last Supper took place as well as the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (50 days after Easter). 

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Garden of Gethsemani, located on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus suffered His agony and was arrested. “Father, if this cannot pass me by without my drinking it, your will be done!” (Matthew 26:42) 

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View of the Mount of Olives, Garden of Gethsemani, and the adjacent Church of All Nations, marking the site of Christ’s agony. 

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Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, built over the house of the high priest, Caiaphas, where Jesus was interrogated and detained prior to His Crucifixion. This location also marks the place where Peter denied the Lord three times. The Latin word Gallicantu actually means,  “cock crow”.

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The Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow in Latin) is a street within the Old City of Jerusalem, believed to be the path that Jesus walked on the way to death by Crucifixion.

 

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The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built atop Golgotha, which means Skull Place, where Jesus was Crucified. (Matthew 27:32-38). Above: Location where Jesus was nailed to the Cross. Below: Location of Christ’s death by Crucifixion.  

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The interior of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Above: The anointing stone, believed to be the place where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.  Below: The Holy Sepulcher, built atop the currently empty grave site of Jesus, for on the 3rd day, Jesus rose from the dead.

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The Easter Day Celebration continues until the following Sunday’s celebration of Divine Mercy, referred to as the Solemnity of Mercy Sunday. Here, we recall that God’s mercy is infinite and open to all who simply approach Him in trust. “Jesus, I trust in you!” Due to the central importance and tremendous graces available during this pinnacle time period in our liturgical calendar, I will not post my next Friday blog until April 28th. I wish you and your family a wonderful Easter filled with peace, joy, hope and the endless mercy of Jesus Christ.

 

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

Please click on the link below to learn more about my non-for-profit company, The Healing Eyes of Mercy, make a donation for the people of Haiti, Rwanda, or the Holy Land, shop, or read about my upcoming book, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love. Thank you and God Bless!

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com

Hope in the Face of Darkness.

Chapter Twelve: The Destruction of Darkness.

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Virtual Pilgrimage Location. The Garden of Gethsemane.

A sneak peak into Karen’s upcoming book.

The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love.

Chapter Twelve: The Destruction of Darkness.

Genesis 3:16-19. To the woman he said, “I will intensify the pangs of your childbearing; in pain shall you bring forth children. Yet your urge shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master.” To the man he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat, cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return.”

The newly weds arrived in Hawaii and immediately attended a welcoming party held in their honor. Reviewing their island adventure opportunities, the bride suggested the island snorkeling and dinner luau tours. Looking her way, with eyes as cold as steel, her husband replied, “Be quiet and stop making such a fool out of yourself. Grow up and act your age. We are married now and as your husband, I will be making all of the decisions from this point forward.” Dazed by his hurtful remarks, she withdrew, feeling it must have been the jet lag talking. They proceeded up to their honeymoon suite in silence. Stepping inside, she reached for her husband’s hand to pull him close. He pulled away, turned and pinned her against the bathroom door. Placing his finger in her chest, he shouted, “Don’t ever embarrass me in front of others like that again or you will find yourself without a husband! Do you understand?” With that, he took off his wedding band, threw it at her face, slammed the hotel door and stormed off.

How do we find hope in the face of destructive darkness?  To search for answers, join me on a virtual pilgrimage to the Garden of Gethsemane, located at the base of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. No passport necessary.

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The ancient olive trees, found in the Garden of Gethsemane, are believed to be over 2,000 years old. Tradition holds that these gnarled trees are the very same which sheltered Jesus prior to His arrest.

Immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus and three of His apostles (Peter, John and James) went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.

Luke 22:41-46: Jesus withdrew from them, about a stone’s throw away, then went down on his hands and knees and prayed in these words, “Father, if it is your will, take this cup from me: yet not my will but yours be done.” An angel then appeared to him from heaven to strengthen him. In anguish, he prayed with all the greater intensity, and his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground. 

Here, we find our answers, for in the face of darkness, we must go to Mass, become One Body in Christ through partaking of the Eucharist, pray, submit to the will of the Father, and rely on heavenly powers for strength, courage and protection.

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The Church of All Nations, overlooking the Garden of Gethsemane, is said to be built over the Rock of Agony, a section of bedrock where Jesus prayed before His arrest.

The Garden of Gethsemane was also the location of Jesus’ betrayal by Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles. Here, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver (Luke 22:47-51). Knowing that he had condemned his Lord, an innocent man, Judas began to regret his actions. As a result, he returned the money and hung himself in grief (Matthew 27:3-5). During Jesus’ arrest, Peter drew out a sword and quickly cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus said in reply, “Enough!” then touched the man’s ear and healed him. This account of Judas and Peter’s very different responses, in the face of destructive darkness, is extremely instructive. Peter, although initially choosing violence, repents and eventually becomes the first pope of Christ’s Church. Placing all of his hope in the Resurrection to new life, he dies a martyr’s death in Rome around the year 67 AD. Judas, on the other hand, unaware of Christ’s Resurrection and triumph over darkness, chooses grief, hopelessness and self-inflicted death.

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Far left, in the ancient city of Jerusalem, one finds the desolate “Field of Blood” where it is believed Judas hung himself (Acts 2:18-20).

The Agony in the Garden is the first Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary and Station of the Cross. Therefore, consider praying each when confronting your own cross and personal battle against darkness. Offer up your suffering in reparation for the sins of the world. Spend an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Eucharist, for as Matthew 26:40 says, when Jesus returned to his disciples in the garden, He said, “So you could not stay awake with Me for even an hour?” But far from remaining in our own personal “Garden of Gethsemane”, let us pray for the Christian hope found in the glorious events which always follow Christ’s Passion and Death, our Lord’s Resurrection to new life and Ascension into heaven!

Closing 3:00 p.m. prayer for Divine Mercy.

Eternal Father, I offer You, the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and the sins of the entire world.

For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the entire world. (Repeat two more times).

Jesus, I trust in You.

To learn more about my new book entitled, The Healing Eyes of Mercy. A Journey Towards the Light of God’s Love, please click on the link below.

http://www.spiritualsafariguide.com