One of the most poignant moments of our pilgrimage to the Holy Land is praying in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.  This Church, build on the foundation of the 4th C. basilica, encloses Mount Calvary, the Stone of Anointing, the Tomb, and several other chapels.  On entering this church, we ascended Mount Calvary. There, beneath the byzantine icons of Christ crucified, Mary and St. John, each adorned in silver, is an altar and through an opening in the floor under the altar, we can touch Mount Calvary where stood the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Descending to the main level, and then descending twice more, is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, in the place where St. Helena found the Cross through a miraculous healing. The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross recalls this power to bring healing and life today to those for whom Jesus shed his blood.  Jesus death on the Cross becomes present each time we celebrate the Eucharist. As the instrument of our salvation, we honour the Cross. But Jesus asked us to do more than honour it. “‘If any[one] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me’ (Lk 9:23). The point of taking up our own cross is not simply self-sacrifice; in doing so, we unite ourselves to the sacrifice of Christ on His Cross” (learnreligions.com/feast-exaltation-of-the-holy-cross-542472).

2019-09-13T15:35:01+00:00