This is always the highlight of the pilgrimage. We start early – very early – and pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa where Jesus carried his cross.
We arrive before the crowds at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and everyone gets to touch the top of Calvary where the Cross was standing. I remind people that if they touched that spot 2,000 years ago their fingers would come up sticky with his blood.
The next logical step is the Tomb. And that’s exactly what we do. We have a private Mass at the Tomb of Christ and in the end Jesus again comes out of the Tomb for us in the form of the Blessed Sacrament. It alway elicits tears and awe. Msgr. Droll did a marvelous job and you can listen to his homily here 713_0028.
After we walked back through the Old City we had breakfast at Notre Dame and a bit of rest. Then we jumped on the bus for a trip to the Church of Paternoster where Jesus not only taught the apostles to pray the Our Father but from where he ascended into heaven after his resurrection.
Next was Peter in Gallicantu where Peter denied Jesus and where Jesus was imprisoned over Holy Thursday night. I took everyone down into the prison and we read Psalm 88.
Lunch at the Notre Dame and everyone had the rest of the day and evening free. They are scattered all over Jerusalem exploring, praying, hiking, enjoying and more. At 5:00 PM we offer the optional Holy Shroud Exhibit – the best in the world.
Tomorrow is a busy day going to Mass at Gethsemane, visit to the Dormition of Mary and the Upper Room. After than lunch at a Jewish Kibbutz and – from the most magnificent lookout point – I give my 30-minute “Story of Salvation History.” Then some more free time before dinner.