Abu Gosh & Notre Dame de l’Arche d’Alliance

Abu Gosh is the Emmaus of the gospel, where we headed this morning for Mass at the Benedictine St. Mary of the Resurrection Monastery built on the site of a 12th century crusader church. The destination of two disciples, one of whom was named Cleopas, on the morning of the resurrection, with troubled hearts and shaken spirits they left Jerusalem for Emmaus in an effort to escape the horrific events they had just witnessed. And he walked unknowingly among them. But he spoke to them along the way, their hearts burning within them as he explained everything about himself in the scriptures. And later at table he broke bread as was his custom. Then their eyes were opened, and he had vanished from their sight.

A thought from Mass. Jesus walks alongside us through the troubles and cares of life. He asks us to unburden our hearts while he speaks to us assuring us of his love and mercy. This passage is an invitation for us to break open his Word in sacred scripture so we hear him speak to our troubles and cares. And when we break bread with him at the Eucharist may our eyes be opened so we see him present and active in our lives. And like those disciples we must rush to our brothers and sisters and bring them the good news that they too may encounter the risen Jesus.

After Mass we took a short visit to a church under the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition in the northwestern edge of Abu Gosh, Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant. We were unable to go in since the building was under renovation. Tradition claims it is the location of the home of Abinadab where the Ark of the Covenant rested for 20 years until King David took Jerusalem. It was built on the site of a 5th century Byzantine church. With the dedication of an image of Our Lady of La Vang in 2018, the site has become a meeting place of Vietnamese pilgrims.

We then headed to a local restaurant for lunch, the Elvis American Diner on the road to Jerusalem. The King lives! He would be pleased.

And so our pilgrimage comes to a close. We head home tonight with hearts filled with gratitude for the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and touch the places he called home. We return back to our lives having encountered Jesus in ways personal and profound. May he keep the fire of God’s love burning in our hearts in the days and years ahead.

Rolo B Castillo © 2023

3 responses to “Abu Gosh & Notre Dame de l’Arche d’Alliance”

  1. Thank you again for sharing. The pictures were beautiful and really added to my understanding. Welcome Home!


  2. Thank you Father Rolo for sharing your pilgrimage with us..the photos and your narrative made us feel like we were there with you! 🙏



    • My pleasure Paula. I love that you were able to share the journey. And I have lots to reflect on in the weeks ahead myself with Lent upon us.


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