What draws the Pope and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to hold a Mass on Mount Precipice in Nazareth? What is so special about this mountain? First, take a look at two of the most famous Masses ever celebrated in the Holy Land and think about the faith of the participants and leadership of their priests.
Solemn Mass – Mount Precipice, Nazareth 17.11.13
Seven thousand Catholic faithful took part in the International Day of Faith (November 17, 2013) celebrations on Mount Precipice in Nazareth. The festive mass was led by His Beatitude, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Fouad Tual.
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A Prophet Without Honor (Mark 6:1-6)
The reason is that this site, according to Christian tradition, is the site of the Rejection of Jesus. Christians want to be
‘Jesus left there and went to his hometown [Nazareth], accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue [the Synagogue Church, Nazareth], and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.’
Precipitation (Luke 4:29-30)
Following the Rejection of Jesus, occurred the Miracle of the Precipice.
“They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.”
Imagine Jesus disappearing without being thrown down this steep mountainside to the Valley of Jezreel below! Now that is a miracle.
Panorama of Nazereth from Mt. Precipice
You, too, can stand on Mount Precipice, just as Jesus did. You can see all of Nazereth before you.
The golden dome is the Moslim Maqam al-Nabi Saeen Mosque which was erected next to the Salesian Church of Jesus the Adolescent. This a religious “battle for the skyline“. You can also see the Renaissance Hotel, which was used temporarily detained illegal aliens arrested by the Immigration Police in the north, near the Stef Wertheimer Nazareth Industrial Park
View from Mt. Precipice to Mt. Tabor
Between Mt. Precipice and Mt. Tabor, you can see the Arab villages of Daburiyya and Iksal, as well as the Jezreel Valley.
How thoughtful of the JNF to create a small lookout on Mount Precipice. The following slideshow is a collection of zoom-in photos of famous sites which can be seen from this lookout. The lookout, by the way, is also the start of the famous Gospel Trail.