Sunday, 15 January 2012

Dominus Flevit Chapel

On the way down the Mount of Olives we came to the Dominus Flevit Chapel.  'Dominus Flevit' literally means 'the master wept' and this church stands on the site of a rock which medieval pilgrims identified as the place where Jesus stood when he wept over the city of Jerusalem and its failure to see what God was saying to it.  Designed in the shape of a teardrop by Antonio Barluzzi this chapel was built in 1955 on the site of an earlier seventh century chapel.  It is a good place for looking down, over and at the city of Jerusalem.

If we consider again the Palm Sunday story and that particular journey that took Jesus and his disciples this way, we can imagine them being on a high state of alert.  If things looked like getting out of hand, the Roman soldiers would surely intervene.  The crowds are cheering Jesus as he descends the hill and the worried Pharisees tell Jesus to instruct his followers to be quiet - only to be told that, if they keep quiet, the stones themselves will shout.  As Jesus rides on the donkey through the Beautiful (Golden) Gate, the disciples still think he will overthrow the Romans.  However, as he rides through the gate, instead of turning right to the fortress, and the place where he might find and challenge the Romans, he turns left to the temple precincts - and overturns the tables of the money-changers!

Sometimes we think we know what needs doing, what needs changing, only to discover that God has other ideas. 

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