Publisher: twinger Volume No. 3 Issue No 17 Date March 9, 2005
This past weekend we took a family ski trip to Winter Park, CO. Our neighbors and a classmate of Ryan’s went with us. All-total, there were ten of us. We had a great time. I cannot ski any longer, and was not sure what I was going to do while everyone else was at the mountain skiing. We were watching the evening news the night of our arrival, and the news anchors began to talk about the Relics of the Passion Tour. The tour was being held in Denver at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It ended the next day at 6:30.
A relic is defined in Webster’s as “a surviving memorial of something past” that is “preserved and worthy of reverence”. Historically, Christians have made pilgrimages to Holy sites as acts of veneration. The tour was designed to provide such an opportunity to Americans today. The relics were from the passion, and the tour was scheduled during Lent to cause one to reflect on Christ’s passion and death.
Sunday morning, I set out for Denver to experience the tour. The beginning of the tour coincided with the close of morning mass at the cathedral. Mass is a time where Catholics believe that we receive Christ, who offered himself to us, through our participation in the Eucharist. It is a sacrament that occurs in a holy place. That holiness was evident to me as I entered the cathedral. I stood in line for 20-30 minutes waiting for my turn to revere, or venerate, the relics. The display was awesome and brought tears to my eyes. To the casual observer it might appear as though the items displayed were just gold crosses and pictures with fragments of no consequence, but to the faithful they were inspirational.
In Joshua it talks about the Israelites crossing the Jordan. After everyone had crossed, Joshua told the twelve leaders of the tribes to each select a stone from the Jordan and to place them at the banks of the Jordan as a memorial of God’s deliverance into the Holy Land. They consecrated the site and made it holy, a place of reverence and veneration. What makes something or someone holy? There’s a song that I love called “In This Very Room”. The lyrics talk about love and power that can chase away gloom because Jesus is in the room. How is that possible? Just because one says or thinks He’s there, is He?
The skeptic in me would say that the relic tour was sensationalism in the name of Christianity. The Christian in me stepped out in faith, and felt the touch of holiness in a place consecrated to Our Lord.