“Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover.” (Lk.2:41) Jesus went on pilgrimage to the “Holy City” (Mt. 4:5) from infancy until His death. We don’t often think of Jesus on pilgrimage to the “City of David,” (1Chron.15:1) but Jesus’ parents would make pilgrimages three times a year as God decreed,
“Three times a year, then, every male among you shall appear before the Lord, your God, in the place which he chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths.” (Dt. 16:16)
It is on one of the pilgrimages to Jerusalem that Joseph and Mary lose sight of Jesus, “thinking that He was in a caravan, they journeyed for a day…and after three days they found Him in the temple,” (Lk. 2:44-46) but not before Jesus reminds them of His call to the temple, “Did you not know that I must be in My Father’s house?” (Lk. 2:49) which also calls to mind Habakkuk’s prophecy, “The Lord is in his holy temple.” (2:20)
As an adult Jesus continued observing and following the law by making pilgrimages to worship, “since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem.” (Jn.2:13) St. Luke relates that Jesus drives out the merchants because they were profaning the temple leading Him to exclaim, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer.'” (Lk.19:46) (Is. 56:7) Thus fulfilling David’s prophecy, “Zeal for your house consumes me.” (Ps. 69:9)
Indeed, Jesus so loves the city of prophets and kings that He weeps for the Holy City exclaiming, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how many times I yearned to gather your children,” (Mt. 23:37) bringing to mind the prophets words that God was, “very jealous for Jerusalem.” (Zech.1.14)
Jerusalem becomes the spiritual capitol of the world when Jesus dies on the cross fulfilling Jeremiah’s prophecy, “At that time, they shall call Jerusalem, ‘Throne of God,'” (Jer. 3.17) and also His own words, “It is impossible that a prophet should die, outside of Jerusalem.” (Lk.13:33)
Today, Jerusalem is the center of monotheism for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Indeed, the prophet Isaiah foretells the time when all nations will stream to Jerusalem as the earthly center of the messianic kingdom…
“Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the highest mountain. And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem’” (Is. 2:2-3)
For those who feel called to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, made sacred by the blood of the prophets (Lk. 13:34) and by Jesus’ own Blood (Heb. 9:22), the door is always open to come, feel and experience what it mBrochure 11 Days Holy Land (PDF)ust have been like to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
And for those who are unable to journey to the Holy Land itself, Jesus invites us to take up our cross and follow Him (Mat. 16:24) in our everyday pilgrimage of life looking toward “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22) or “the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven.” (Rev. 21:2)
11-Day Pilgrimage to the Holy Land – “Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus” – June 6 – 16, 2018 with Fr. Alex Caudillo, Deacon Dan Lupo, and Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez. Price: $3,799.00 Per Person R/T from Austin TX (Includes First class hotels, Double Occupancy, 2 Meals a day Breakfast and Dinner, Daily Sightseeing, Daily Mass, Airport Taxes, Fuel Surcharges.