We had the opportunity to visit the Mount of Olives, where Christ ascended into heaven, as well as Bethany where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the friends of Jesus, lived. We saw the tomb where tradition tells us Lazarus was raised by Jesus Christ. We have also been at the place where Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray. At this place, called Pater Noster, the prayer that Christ taught them, the ‘Our Father’, is translated into more than 150 languages from different parts of the world and placed on the walls of the church and courtyard.
By visiting, seeing, and entering the tomb where Lazarus laid, then coming out of the tomb, we were reminded of our hope of being raised by Jesus from our own tomb of sins through the Sacraments of Baptism and Reconciliation. This was a way of connecting to our Lord by walking in His steps. It was a moment to continue cultivating an abiding friendship with Christ just as Martha, Mary, and Lazarus had done during Christ’s earthly ministry. To be with Christ is our first and most important priority, which brings us to fulfill His mission. He calls us first to be with Him, them He sends us out as long as we stay connected to Him (Mark 3:14). We can only have power and authority to do Christ’s work if we are united with Jesus. Thus visiting these sties allows us to follow Jesus’ steps and renew our friendship with Him that He may send us to carry out His mission according to His will. May the Lord bless all who made this journey possible and continue to bless us and give us the zeal and desire to serve Him and His people in love.