Holy Land Pilgrimage

Mass at Calvary

December 7, 2021

I am impressed by the work of the Franciscans in the holy sites. After visiting the Holy Sepulcher multiple times, I realize they are always present leading people in prayer. Today we celebrated mass at the Crucifixion site inside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, which the Franciscans share with other Christian denominations. I feel proud of the Franciscans for representing our Tradition and for the work they do in managing the Masses celebrated each day. Every second spent inside these holy places is a blessing and that is because of the Franciscans’ presence for over 800 years.

Jesus walked, taught, suffered, cried, and poured out the last drops of His sacred blood where we celebrated Mass today. Here on Golgotha, or Calvary, Jesus endured his most humiliating moments. He was raised on the Cross just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert. Today, we continue to be able to venerate this holy site because of the Franciscans who help in maintaining it. 

In the readings for today’s Mass, we heard that the Son of Man was lifted here so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. At Mass, when the priest raises up the Consecrated host and wine and says, behold the Lamb of God, it is the same Jesus who we are seeing. We often hear the Scripture passage, John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in Him might have eternal life.” May those words penetrate our hearts, because Jesus was not raised on the Cross for our condemnation but for us to be saved through Him.

Thanks to the Franciscans, the Crucifixion site continues to be venerated as the sacred place where Jesus poured out the last drops of His sacred blood and conquered death when he was raised, just as when Moses lifted up the serpent in the dessert.

Deacon Manuel Barrios
Diocese of San Jose

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