Fortress During the
|Photography on this page by Charleston C. K. Wang, Shirley Wang, or Arthur Wang
Copyright 2010-2012 All Rights Reserved Charleston C. K. Wang, Esq., Publisher
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THE ROAD TO EMMAUS
An Independent Source of News & Views
WHERE IS EMMAUS?
Today, the exact location of Emmaus - where Jesus resurrected first appeared - is not known with certainty. The Gospel of Luke places
Emmaus as 7 miles (60 stadia) from Jerusalem and being within a day's round trip on foot from Jerusalem. (Emmaus is also mentioned in
1 Maccabees). It is believed to be west of Jerusalem. Early Christians associated Emmaus Nikopolis with the biblical Emmaus but
modern research disputes this claim mainly for the reason that it is 18 miles from Jerusalem. Other sites suggested as being the biblical
Emmaus include Abu Ghosh, Qubaibat, and Motsa. The site visited by the St. George's College pilgrims during April 2010 was the
modern Arab-Israeli town of Abu Ghosh (also the ancient Old Testament site of Kyriat Yearim) which is 6.2 miles from Jerusalem where
because of more abundant rainfall, the hillsides are lush. On the hill overlooking Abu Ghosh is the Church of Our Lady of the Ark of the
Covenant (Notre Dame de l'Arche de l'Alliance) and which may be located by the elevated statue of Mary with baby Jesus in her arms.
Built in 1924 over a 5th century Byzantine church, it is thought to be on the site of the house of Abinadab where the Ark of the Covenant
was hidden for twenty years until King David retrieved it to Jerusalem. Today, idyllic Abu Ghosh, notwithstanding a turbulent 20th
century, is a picturesque town which boasts of having made the Guinness World Record in 2010 for the largest preparation of hummus.
to the Dead
The Walk to Emmaus
Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these
things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing
him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name
was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place there in these days?’
He asked them, ‘What things?’ They replied, ‘The things about Jesus of Nazareth,* who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the
people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to
redeem Israel.* Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They
were at the tomb early this morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but they did not see him.’ Then
he said to them, ‘Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah
should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?’ Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about
himself in all the scriptures.
The Supper at Emmaus
As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us,
because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed
and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Were
not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’ That same hour they got up and
returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. Luke 24:13-18.
Jesus Appears to Two Disciples
After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. And they went back and told the rest, but they did not
believe them. Mark 16: 12-13.
Looking towards Jersualem from the Hill Above the Town of Abu Ghosh
The Church of Notre Dame de l'Arche de l'Alliance (Our Lady of the Ark of the Covenant) at Abu Ghosh
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TWO CHURCHES AT EIN KEREM
On the way to Abu Ghosh (Emmaus), nestled in the green Jerusalem hills, is the town of Ein Kerem. According to tradition this is the birth place of John the Baptist.
Accordingly, many churches and monasteries have been built in that vicinity. We stopped at Ein Kerem and visited two of the churches.
|VIEWS FROM WITHIN THE CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
Click on any thumbnail for larger view
CHURCH OF THE VISITATION (AND THE MAGNIFICAT)
The Church of the Visitation commemorates the visit of Mary who was pregnant with Jesus to her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist. It was during
this visit that Mary recited the Magnificat:
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth
heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed
is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my
womb leapt for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.’
And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home. Luke 1: 39-56.
|And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST
At Ein Kerem, there are two churches memorializing Saint John the Baptist - one Orthodox and the other Roman. John is the man to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.
We visited his church which is in the custody of the Franciscan Order. The site is over an older Byzantine basilca which is believed to mark the house of Zechariah, the
father of John and husband of Elizabeth and is close to the Church of the Visitation. The modern church was designed by Antonio Barluzzi and completed in 1935. In the
courtyard is a wall that has 24 tile plaques of the "Benedictus" - the first words sang by Zechariah only after the birth of John (not to be confused with the Magnificat Wall
of the Visitation which features more translations into different languages of the world). The most revered part of this church is its Grotto.
The Magnificat Wall
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy
Spirit and spoke this prophecy: ‘Blessed be the
Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favourably
on his people and redeemed them. He has raised
up a mighty saviour for us in the house of his
servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of
his holy prophets from of old, that we would be
saved from our enemies and from the hand of all
who hate us. Thus he has shown the mercy
promised to our ancestors, and has remembered
his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our
ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being
rescued from the hands of our enemies, might
serve him without fear, in holiness and
righteousness before him all our days. And you,
child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his
ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his
people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the
tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high
will break upon* us, to give light to those who sit
in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide
our feet into the way of peace.’ Luke 1: 67-79.
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
THE BENEDICTUS OF ZECHARIAH IN CHINESE
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Charleston C. K, Wang, December 19, 2012
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Kyriat Yearim Plaque