Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 6

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel

Saturday, April 30, Day 6: VIA DOLOROSA - JERICHO - QUARAM - DEAD SEA

We started early this morning praying at  the Stations of the Cross along the "Via Dolorosa" or Way of the Cross. I offered my knee  pain to Jesus while carrying the cross through the Fifth station: Simon of Cirene helps Jesus carry the cross. 


We finished with the Mass at the Holy Sepulcher at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Then, we prayed at Calvary and the Tomb of Our Lord. (Matthew 27:31–33, Mark 15:20–22, Luke 23:26–32 and John 19:16–18.)

While touring the Old City of Jerusalem, we visited  the Chapel of Flagellation, the Chapel of Condemnation, and the Lithostrotos, the site of the Antonia Fortress where Julius Caesar resided at the time of Christ and where Jesus was condemned to death. (Luke 23:13-25; John 19)

 In the afternoon, we drove through the Judean Wilderness to Jericho. Visited Elisha’s Fountain place. (2 Kings: 2) Visited the ancient city of Jericho from which we  viewed the Mount of Temptation, where Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. (Luke 4:9-13)

We visited the Qumran Caves, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1947. 


After a long day we had time to relax in this incredible Dead Sea site where no fish lived for the salinity of the waters and you cannot swim, but float. 


Amazing experience.

Expect more about it! My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk


Friday, April 29, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 5

 LuzDelMes Pilgrimage Experience 

Friday, April 29, Day 5: BETHLEHEM - SHEPHERDS FIELD

This morning we departed for Bethlehem to visit the Basilica of the Nativity built over the site of the birthplace of Christ. (Matthew 2:1; Luke 2:1-20) and entered the cave where Christ was born. I had a blessed feeling on this day.



We sang the traditional Christmas Carols and celebrated Mass at the Church of St. Catherine, the venue for the midnight Mass, which is broadcast all over the World from Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. 


We visited St. Jerome’s Grotto, The cave where the saint St. Jerome lived for many years while translating the Bible into Latin, the Vulgata. At this place, we visited the orphanage at the French Hospital.



Have a traditional meal at the Shepherd’s Field called "Upside-down." The field recalls the “great throng of the heavenly hosts” who appeared to the shepherds and told them of the birth of the Savior. (Luke 2:8-20)


At night, we went to the Museum of Shroud. It has a lot of forensic science used in analyzing the shroud culminating in a 3D model of the image.



Expect more about it! 

My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI Delegate, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk


Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 4

 LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Thursday, April 28, Day 4: JERUSALEM – SHARING THE BREAD DINNER AT WEST BANK 

Today we began at Bethphage, where the procession of Palm Sunday started on the Mount of Olives and Jesus was received with Palms (Matthew 21:1-11) Then we visited the Church of the Ascension, the spot where Christ ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9-12) and gave his twelve apostles a “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:19-20)


We stopped at the same place that Jesus taught the “Pater Noster,” meaning Our Father or Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:5-15; Luke 11:1-13)



Later, we went to Dominus Flevit, the place where Christ wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41-44; Matthew 23:37-39) and had a morning MASS with an amazing view over Jerusalem. 



l

In the afternoon, we visited Ein Karem, the place of the Visitation where Our Lady came to visit her cousin Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-45). A place where the Virgin Mary recited the Magnificat. Here is written in several languages. We arrived at the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist and the Grotto of his birth. (Luke 1:13; Luke 1:5-25) 



Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 3

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Wednesday, April 27, Day 3: INTO THE LAND OF THE BIBLE - OLD CITY “CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH SHRINES” - 

This morning we visited the Church of St. Anne built on the site of the birthplace of the Virgin Mary and in honor of her parents: Joachim and Anne. It is located just north of the Temple Mount, about 50 metres inside St. Stephen’s or Lions’ Gate. The church stands in a courtyard with trees, shrubs and flowers. Its tranquility contrasts with the bustling alleys of the Muslim Quarter.


According to the story, Joachim and Anne keep their promise to deliver their daughter Mary into the service of the temple at the age of three. In this way we learned how Mary is prepared for her unique life of purity and grace. 


Next to the church is the large excavation area near the Sheep Gate where there is a pool  in Arameic called "Bethesda." Beth hesda means “house of mercy” or “house of grace.” In Hebrew and Aramaic it could also mean “shame” or “disgrace.” 


"Jesus healed the sick man near these medicinal baths." 

The Gospel of John describes the pools as having five porticoes. The pool has an extreme depth of 13 meters. This is the place where Jesus healed the paralytic. (John 5:1-17). 


I walked into the ruins and reflected on the moment this man was healed, it must be an amazing moment for him after he had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 


Later, we visited the Temple area, the spot where the original temple was built and which was the scene of many episodes from the life of Christ, such as the expulsion of the money changers from the temple. (Matthew 21:12)



We prayed at the Western Wall, also known as the “Wailing Wall” of the Temple, which is the most sacred spot in the world for the Jews. There is an area for men and women to pray because the Torah scrolls at the Western Wall are normally stored in the men's section, which women are forbidden from entering according to the 613 Jewish laws and ordinances. 


I was moved by the cries of the women in front of the wall. I left my family names on the  wall and sat down to pray… I was so blessed to have my savior and redeemer, to believe in Jesus. 

In the afternoon, we entered the National Museum, the Shrine of the Book. This is believed the site to be the actual resting place of King David. It occupies the ground floor of the Cenacle, the "Upper Room" traditionally identified as the place of Jesus' Last Supper and the original meeting place of the early Christian community.


Then, we continued to Mount Zion and visited the “Upper Room “where the “Last Supper” took place. (Matthew 26:17 -29; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7-38; and the Apostles received Pentecost and the first Christian Community was born. (Acts 1-2)


I expected more of this place but I understand after so many destructions and battles, this must have been the first target to destroy the place of the Apostles gathered together.


Then, we celebrated Mass at the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu built on the site of the house of Caiaphas, which encloses the dungeon where Christ was kept on Holy Thursday night (John 18) and where Peter denied Christ thrice (Luke 22:54-62).



There is the pit Jesus was held in when he was arrested. We had the honor of reading Psalm 88. These are also the original steps that Jesus probably walked from the upper room to the garden of Gethsemane.

Dr. Marcellino and Guide Bader Rabadi 

Expect more about it!  My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk


 




Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Fifth Gospel Experience - Day 1-2

LuzDelMes Experience in Israel 

Despite the current crisis, pandemic effects, and uncertain times, the journey to the Holy Land began. 


Monday, April 25, Day 1: DEPART TO TEL AVIV 

We embarked on a twenty hours journey from Miami-New York-Tel-Aviv and arrived to Ben Guríon Airport on April 26th.


After going through passport control, Covid test to enter to Israel and customs, we were greeted by an English-speaking Arab Christian guide to head on a luxurious Motor Coach bound for Jerusalem.


The first thing I learned is that Israeli week is different from the one in the rest of the world. The work week runs from Sunday to Thursday, and the weekend, from Friday to Saturday because of the Shabbat, which begins at the sun set on Friday and lasts until a little after the sunset on Saturday.


Also our magnificent official guide, Bader Rabadi, taught us our first word in Arab "Marhaban ." It comes from the word “rahhaba” which means “to welcome”. The common reply is “Marhaban bik”, “Marhaban biki”, to a male, and “Marhaban bikum” to a female, and more than one person respectively. 


Tuesday, April 26, Day 2: ARRIVAL TO JERUSALEM 

We traveled less than an hour to the Pontifical Notre Dame Center in Old Jerusalem to gather together with the whole group of pilgrims. It was interesting to meet in person one of the theology professors (Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio) and two online classmates with whom I have exchanged knowledge for the past two years. 


We shared our first dinner together and visited the rooftop with my adorable roommate, Teresa Glindmeier to sightsee  the days ahead to the old Jerusalem. 


With all this great team of professionals, we began a pilgrimage to the "Fifth Gospel" in Israel after a well deserved rest. 


MARHABAN TEL AVIV!

Expect more about it! My pilgrimage experience began at home. 

http://luzdelmes.blogspot.com/2022/05/reflection-on-my-visit-to-israel.html?m=


Maritza Martinez Mejia

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Mother, Educator, Bilingual Author and Translator

Member: FWA, MCBD Board of Advisors, ANLMI, 

International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.

Website: www.luzdelmes.com

Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk


Monday, April 25, 2022

Welcome May - Bienvenido Mayo

 Reflections by Maritza Martínez Mejía Mejíaons by Maritza Martínez Mejía


Mothers are remembered on this memorable month of May, but for those whose mothers are not present is not easy to recall. However, it is important to recognize the value of giving birth, nurture, and taking care of a reliant being.
Let us recognize the value of motherhood even if you are not a mother; we all need to embrace parenthood with love, responsibility and care.
Have a Happy May!

🌺blossom hue flowers
nature shine, sing, smell arrives
may must be here! 🌸

Farewell April!

(Haiku @Mejia Spring 2021)

#NovedadesdemiJardin 🌴#LuzDelMes 


Las Madres son recordadas en este memorable mes de Mayo, pero para aquellos/as que sus madres no están presentes no es fácil de recordar. Sin embargo es importante darle el reconocimiento a esta magnífica experiencia de dar a luz, alimentar, y cuidar a un indefenso ser.
Apreciemos el valor de la maternidad aunque no seas madre; todos/as necesitamos acoger la paternidad con amor, responsabilidad, y cariño. 
¡Tengan un Feliz Mayo!

Thank you for your support!🌷 #LuzDelMes 🌠

ACTIVIDADES GRATIS EN: www.luzdelmes.com

Maritza Martínez Mejía

Mother, Author, Educator, Translator and Publisher
Member: FWA, MCBD Board of AdvisorsANLMI
International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.
Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk

Arbor Day - Dia del Árbol

  


According to history, National Arbor Day is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plan trees. it is always celebrated on the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates throughout the year based on best tree planting times in their area. 
Visit the site to find your area: https://www.arborday.org/celebrate/dates.cfm
LuzDelMes supports Arbor Day campaign by Rina Soldevilla in Peru.
 
#LuzDelMes 🌠 apoya el proyecto ambientalista de Rina Soldevilla

gardening hardship 
from seeds to tiny green plants
waiting to get tall...

(Haiku @Mejia - Spring 2021)
#NovedadesdemiJardin 🌴#LuzDelMes ✨

Según la historia,  el Día Nacional del Árbol es un día festivo en el que se anima a los individuos y grupos a plantar árboles. Siempre se celebra el último viernes de abril, pero muchos estados observan el Día del Árbol en diferentes fechas durante todo el año en función de los mejores tiempos de plantación de árboles en su área. Visite el sitio para encontrar su área: https://www.arborday.org/celebrate/dates.cfm
El Proyecto de Solidaridad #LuzDelMes sigue dejando huella más allá de las fronteras y apoya la campaña de reforestación de la poeta y ambientalista Rina Soldevilla. ¡Felicidades y bendiciones por ésta gran campaña.  

Share your own Haiku for Arbor Day. 

Thank you! 

Escribe un Haiku para el Día del árbol.
¡Gracias!

Thank you for your support!🌷 #LuzDelMes 🌠

ACTIVIDADES GRATIS EN: www.luzdelmes.com

Maritza Martínez Mejía

Mother, Author, Educator, Translator and Publisher
Member: FWA, MCBD Board of AdvisorsANLM
International Read to Me! Day Ambassador.
Received Crystal Apple Award, VCB Poetry Award, Latino Book Awards 2016 & Author’s Talk