So how can anyone who has traveled to the Holy Land almost 40 times get something “new” each time? Yes, since 1984, we have traveled to the Holy Land leading pilgrim groups. Well, first of all we need to realize we are thinking about THE Land our Lord sanctified with His life! And so for us, we receive something “new” each time; because we love that Land and the people who for centuries have been living in the Land of the Bible.
We remember walking through the holy sites related to the Lord’s Passion in Jerusalem and thinking about how much He suffered…and for each one of us! And what is more amazing is realizing that Jesus did this in obedience to the Father’s plan for salvation.
When we walked the the Via Dolorosa carrying a large wooden cross with our pilgrim group, we thought about the immense love Christ had for us. The prayers we recited also reminded us of our sinfulness. This experience was so intense and emotional, but so consoling at the same time! We ended the Via Crucis in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is built over the Tomb of Christ and over Calvary. Yes, it’s a large Church! And our pilgrim group had a private Mass in the Tomb…it was the Mass of the Resurrection! The Church allows the Mass of the Resurrection (Easter Mass) to be celebrated daily in the Tomb…because it was there where it all began!
So Lent reminds us of Jerusalem, of the Passion of our Lord, His sufferings, and His immense Love that lead to our Salvation.
So you can’t be in Jerusalem during Lent? Consider walking the Via Dolorosa on a Friday during Lent or anyday. Churches have the Stations of the Cross along their walls, or visit the Pilgrim Center of Hope Outdoor Stations of the Cross. Carry a small cross in your hand as you pray.
Jesus, thank you for laying down your life for us…help us to live our lives in and with you!