|Mass at Church of the Transfiguration,|
on Mt. Tabor
|Inside Church of the Transfiguration|
|The monastery church on Mount Carmel|
The Carmelite religious order has its origins in a small community of Christian hermits that had settled on Mount Carmel. Since their first chapel was dedicated to Our Lady, they named it Our Lady of Mount Carmel chapel, and from this devotion to Our Lady under that title has grown. In recognition of this, we sang a hymn to Mary, honouring her and seeking her intercession as we prepared for the next leg of the journey.
From there it was on to Jerusalem, to our third mountain of the day: Mount Zion. Here this ancient city, central to the unfolding of salvation history, was built. The psalms that pilgrims would traditionally sing as they ascended to Jerusalem for the sacred festivals are identified in the Book of Psalms as the Songs of Ascent, or else the Gradual Psalms (cf. Psalms 120-134). As we, ourselves, went up to Jerusalem (admittedly in the comfort of an air conditioned bus!), I recited for the prayerful participation of our group some of these psalms. We prayed for the peace of Jerusalem as we entered the sacred city, and tomorrow we begin our visit to this place in which our Lord gave his life and rose again that we might live. Yes, here!