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A Pilgrimage within  A Pilgrimage

- The Lamb of God - at John Paul II Center at the Shrine. Blood and

water ooze and flow from His Heart.

Last Sunday afternoon, 20 of us St. Columba parishioners and a few from other parishes boarded a bus for a 12-hour trip to EWTN, the U.S. Catholic radio-TV network with a world-wide reach, and to the beautiful Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, both built by their founder, Mother Angelica, an extraordinary woman of faith.

We were going there as pilgrims. We intended our visit to these places to help increase our knowledge of our Faith, enhance our devotion to it, and get into a closer relationship with our Lord we know loves us and helps us live our lives.

That similarity of purpose is the bond that made us a small faith community.

These past 3 days have been days of grace and blessings.

We have seen the beauty and grandeur of a house of worship built by a woman who knew and loved Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament deeply. We have learned the story of the beginnings and growth of the network, EWTN, envisioned by her to spread the Gospel of the Eternal Word to as many nations as possible..

We have met people who work in the network and the tour guides at the Shrine, who by their eagerness to help the pilgrims are the faces of Christ in those sacred spaces.

We have participated in two Eucharistic Celebrations which made present to us again the sacrifice of the Son of God for our sakes and which brought us so much grace, peace and joy.

We listened to two spiritual talks by Franciscan priests who shared with us knowledge of how to go on our own path to holiness.

The concern and many acts of kindness we have shown to and received from each other in the group during the pilgrimage have made us see Christ in one another.

All these have touched us all, each one of us in different but inspiring and heartfelt ways.

The pilgrimage has given us a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Holy Eucharist, of our call to holiness, the necessity of prayer -- all we need as we make our earthly pilgrimage to the final destination that we all aspire to reach and stay in forever.

We have come to our Lord in His sacred places. We have experienced His healing love which makes us better equipped to share His good news to others.

For all these we are thankful to Him.

In the crypt church where Mother Angelica is buried, her mother who also became a nun is buried also. On her tombstone is a Scripture verse:

"One thing I ask of the Lord, this only I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and meditate in His temple." Psalm 27:4

It is in that heavenly temple where the Eternal Word, the Lamb of God, sacrificed for our sins, reigns forever. It is where we are invited.

"Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the Throne . . ."" (Rev. 5:6).

"Blessed are those who are invited to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb." (Rev. 19:9)

The Sacrifice of the Lamb of God Who transcends space and time is presented to us in space and time, at the Mass, heaven on earth.

May God be with us constantly as we make our earthly pilgrimage to His eternal home, where all the Church will adore Him in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.#

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