The Mosaic of All Nations

I find myself today in the internet cafe at the Notre Dame Guest House just outside the New Gate in Jerusalem. We began the day on the Mt. of Olives, walked to Gethsemane, and saw so many sites that I am on overload.

On our way down the hill, we stopped in a church that was built to commemorate Jesus’ weeping for Jerusalem. It was a pretty little church but I didn’t think much of it so I was walking around peering into corners when I looked in the Sacistry window, off limits to guests. Back there was a huge and very beautiful mosaic featuring the faces of Pope Paul and the Greek Metropolitan.

There was a brother present and I asked him if he would be willing to show us the mosaic. He agreed and took a couple of us into the sacistry. He explained that the mosaic, which showed faces of persons from all nations, had been commissioned following the meeting of the pope and the metropolitan, a meeting in which the pope had repented for the sins of the Roman Church and had gone toward rebuilding relationship between the two communions. “It was to be hung in the Church of All Nations (which sits at Gethsemane),” he said, “but they didn’t have room for it, so we asked if we could have it.”

What an amazing place it is that a historic mosaic can be found in the back changing room of the monks?

My knees are killing me, but I am experiencing a lot.

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