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John 12:32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
We found more tourists than holiness in the Holy Land, and the crowds in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre were the worst. I struggled to climb the narrow, rutted stone steps to the chapel that houses the Rock of Golgotha, on which tradition says Jesus was crucified. Elizabeth went before me, both supporting me and pulling me up while I leaned heavily on my walking stick. Our progress was slow; a group of chanting pilgrims, led by a clergyman in a towering hat, tried to break through. My fear of being separated from my daughter must have shown on my face. “I am not letting go of your hand,” she shouted. Her free hand raised in warning, or maybe threat, and eyes blazing in anger, she stared down the cleric. He backed away.
I was overwhelmed by this fierce love I had never before seen in my daughter. I knew in that moment she would do anything, everything, to protect me. And in that moment I found holiness in the Holy Land, and a glimpse of the immense love that led Jesus to Golgotha.
Today the Church remembers Holy Cross Day.