Dominus Flevit

Thursday 3rd July 2014

The Mount of Olives provides a spectacular panoramic view of Jerusalem spread out below:

Panoramic View from the Mount of Olives of the Old City of Jerusalem

Panoramic View from the Mount of Olives of the Old City of Jerusalem


As I made my way down the Mount of Olives, I visited Dominus Flevit (Latin for “The Lord Wept”). This chapel commemorates the event recorded in Chapter 19 of Luke’s Gospel, when Jesus had arrived on the Mount of Olives and looked out over the city, conscious of the mounting threat against his life, aware too of fate that will befall the city, and he wept.

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem
41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” (Lk 19:41-44)

The chapel is delightfully designed to look like a tear-drop.

View of the front of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem

View of the front of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives overlooking the city of Jerusalem


From inside the Chapel, looking over the altar and out through the front windows, there is a spectacular view of the city of Jerusalem spread out below. One can easily imagine Jesus looking out over the city of his day from such a vantage point where the Temple would have stood out prominently on the Temple Mount. This particular view of the today’s city through the ironwork window frames, chalice and host, and cross has become one of the iconic views of Jerusalem, on postcards, on posters, in tourist guide books.
View of Jerusalem through the front windows of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives

View of Jerusalem through the front windows of Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives


Looking at that scene, here is the account from Chapter 23 of Matthew’s Gospel of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem:

The Lament over Jerusalem
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you, desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:37-39)

On the altar is a mosaic image of a hen and her brood of chicks, as mentioned in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem:

Mosaic of mother hen and chicks on the front of the altar in Dominus Flevit

Mosaic of mother hen and chicks on the front of the altar in Dominus Flevit


For more information and pictures of Dominus Flevit see:
http://www.custodia.org/default.asp?id=2738
http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/DominusFlevit.html
http://www.christusrex.org/www2/baram/B-flevit.html

Shalom, Peace, Salaam!!!

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