Holy Sepulcher: A Triumphant Sacrificial Act of Love That Gives Everything
February 27, 2020
It is marvelous to see how much love God has for each one of us! Today, I visited one of the most beautiful sites in the Holy Land, the Holy Sepulcher, the place where Jesus died on His cross and rose from the dead. It was a really moving experience for me because I witnessed very vividly how much love God has for us as His beloved children.
I remembered when my parents had to make many sacrifices. They sacrificed their own comforts to provide the best education, food, medicine, etc. for our family. These material gifts were very important to me, but the most important gift they gave to me was their example of sacrificial love and fidelity. In the same way, we can see how our heavenly Father wants us to be happy and in communion with Him. As all good Fathers do, He made the most extraordinary and noble sacrifice for us. He sacrificed His only begotten son, Jesus.
Around the altar of Calvary (on the second floor of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher), I admired wonderful mosaics that depict the value of sacrifice in the numerous biblical sacrifice stories. Two mosaics stick out powerfully in my mind. The first is the sacrifice that Abraham attempted of his son Isaac and another is of a solider removing the nails from Jesus as He lay dead on His cross while Our Lady sorrowfully watches. These mosaics depict powerful moments when God shows us the way of love; a love that is unconditional; a Love that gives everything. This powerful love the Father showed through Jesus has the power to recover lost friendships. It has the power to redeem us from our sins.
St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, expresses clearly the desire God the Father had for His sacrificial gift of His only begotten son: “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:6-8).
The priest that celebrated our Mass on Calvary today preached to us a great insight that I still remember: “We have to maintain the hope and the joy that Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has brought to us in this very place.”
Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to follow the steps of our Lord Jesus who teaches us how to love until the extreme.
Archdiocese of Chicago