Holy Land Pilgrimage

Going Up to Jerusalem

February 25, 2020

It is Ash Wednesday, and we’ve begun the Lenten days of purification and penance. In the coming weeks, we will faithfully follow the Gospel in prayerful anticipation of what is to come. Prior to entering Jerusalem, Jesus warned his Apostles: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death” (Mark 10:33-34).

Day by day, in the simplicity of our lives, we can grow in communion with the Lord. Through our Lenten rituals, we consistently practice conversion or re-commitment to Him who sanctifies us. Lent helps us to lay a foundation for our spiritual journeys through life. It is a time to practice using the spiritual tools that allows us to be the saints God calls us to be!

Monastery of the Temptation

Lent replicates the forty-day fast Jesus completed in the desert. A few weeks ago, we pilgrims had the chance to ascend the Mount of Temptations in the Judean desert. It was there that Jesus was tempted by the Evil One. On this site, there is a monastery that provides a place for pilgrims to pray while they visit. This monastery has an image of Jesus’ temptations that I have carried with me. The image has provided me with some great fruit during my prayer. It has helped me to see with fresh eyes what it means to enter the desert of a Lenten fast.

View from Monastery of Temptation

Today begins our visits to the great and holy city of Jerusalem. Like the Apostles, we, in our own way, are “going up to Jerusalem”. There, we will pray diligently at the holy sites with you and for you. We will carefully listen for the messages Jesus wants to tenderly whisper to us with the hope that you too will hear the tender whispers that our Lord has for you.

Jesus will accompany us throughout this spiritually rich time of Lent. He will accompany us through our own desert and grow our anticipation for the heart wrenching events of Holy Week and their glorious conclusion. Each of us can spiritually “go up to Jerusalem.” We pilgrims are all grateful that, with Jesus, each of you can accompany us on this journey.

And lastly … Happy Birthday Mom!

Ryan Brady
Archdiocese of Chicago

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