Hello friends, today’s Gospel makes me think of our recent visit to the Holy Land. We made a stop at the location that our Lord taught us to pray. Pater Noster, Our Father, at this location you can read the Lord’s Prayer in over 100 languages. Like many sites in the Holy Land, the Church we visit is built over a cave, in this case, we are told that the Lord was in this cave when he taught his apostles how to pray.
This site like so may others has been rebuilt several times. The cave is located on the Mount of Olives and in the 4th century a basilica was designed and ordered built by Constantine and it was named the “Church of the Disciples”. It was destroyed by Persians in 614 however like so many of the sites in the Holy Land the memory of what happened there remained alive in Christians memories and passed down throughout the generations until in 1106 Christian Crusaders built a small oratory later to be replaced with a full church in 1152. It was heavily damaged in the Siege of Jerusalem in 1187 falling into ruin in 1345. Again memories kept alive and a convent was built at the location in 1851 while excavations continued to take place looking for the original cave. The cave was found in 1910 and the convent was moved in order for a Byzantine Church could be built at the site.
So what do I take from all this? Try as they might folks have tried to put an end to Christian belief ever since Christ’s Assumption to Heaven. Almost all of the Holy Sites in the Holy Land have a history similar to this. But what about us, Satan works on us every day with all kinds of Temptations but yet with God’s Grace we persist. As long as we have hope and love in our hearts Christ is there as well. May we persist in our love for God just as the Holy Land has persisted in preserving this special sacred tradition for pilgrims to continue to visit and grow in faith to serve our Lord.