Friday, June 25, 2010

Mount of Beatitudes

Tradition identifies this quiet hillside as the place of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  
All 3 groups gathered together as my dad shared a little about this site and had several people read through the first 12 verses of Matthew 5.    I've always wondered how Jesus could have spoken to thousands of people without a microphone or amphitheater, but my dad pointed out that the hillside and the water naturally amplified sound, creating an ideal spot for Jesus' words to echo through the crowd.  
The Beatitudes
 1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
 3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 4Blessed are those who mourn,
      for they will be comforted.
 5Blessed are the meek,
      for they will inherit the earth.
 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
      for they will be filled.
 7Blessed are the merciful,
      for they will be shown mercy.
 8Blessed are the pure in heart,
      for they will see God.
 9Blessed are the peacemakers,
      for they will be called sons of God.
 10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 A domed Roman Catholic church was built on the mount in 1937 with an incredible view of the Sea of Galilee.  This church is currently run by the Franciscan Sisters.  This was one of my favorite churches, simply breathtaking.  Antonio Barluzzi, a famous architect, designed this church. (As well as several others in the Holy Land, including the church at the Garden of Gethsemane that I'll show you later)  The gardens and architecture create a perfect balance of simple beauty. 

The windows inside the church are inscribed with the beginning words of the Beatitudes (in Latin)

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