Dear brother priests, assisting deacon, consecrated persons, brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today, we gather to celebrate the investiture of new members into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. As we come together for this sacred occasion, we are guided by the words of St. Paul in his letter to Timothy and the parable of the Sower in the Gospel of Luke.
St. Paul, in his exhortation to Timothy, reminds us that Christ is the source of all life. Just as Christ bore witness before Pontius Pilate, so too must each one of us bear witness to our faith in Christ throughout our lives. This is a commitment that we undertake as Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulcher. We are called to remain steadfast as servants of Christ, dedicating our lives with unwavering commitment to profess the faith through our witness, generosity, and love for the Gospel.
The Gospel passage of the Sower teaches us about the different responses of humankind to Christ’s message. Some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced abundant fruit, while others fell on rocky ground or among thorns and yielded less. The key phrase for us is, “Listen, anyone who has ears to hear!” It is a call to attentive listening, to hear and take to heart the word of God. If we truly listen to the word of God, we will grow in faith and realize the great promise that awaits those who embrace it.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has a noble mission, one deeply rooted in the history of our faith. Our order was established for the custody of the Holy Places and the care of the faithful in the Land of the Lord and of pilgrims. Becoming a Knight or Dame of this order is not merely a title or an honor; it is a profound commitment to place Jesus Christ at the center of our existence, in every aspect of our lives, including our personal, family, and social projects.
Our commitment to this order also means believing in the redemptive power of the Cross and the Resurrection. It is through these sacred events that we find hope and peace, not only for ourselves but also for the world. We are bound by an ancient bond to the memory of the places of the Crucifixion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord. And we are united in our support of the pastoral charity of the Church in the Holy Land.
Today, as we invest new members into this venerable order, let us remember that we are called to be witnesses of Christ’s love and to sow the seeds of faith wherever we go. Let us strive to be like the fertile soil in the parable, bearing abundant fruit in the service of the Church and the Holy Land. May we, with attentive hearts, listen to the word of God and allow it to guide us in our mission to profess the faith and bring hope to a world in need. Amen. (Photo by Mio Angelo Hermoso/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)