As for the long tradition of all Christian shrines, it is possible to give content and fullness to the pilgrimage – done on foot or by bicycle or car – celebrating the Sacrament of Confession and participating in the Mass.
The Eucharist or Mass
We answer these questions: what is Mass for us? What do we live during the Eucharist?
The Mass is Easter that reaches our life, it is the paschal mystery that touches and penetrates our existence.
In fact, in the Mass, the Passover of Jesus penetrates our life with that grace of salvation that comes from the cross and the resurrection. And the Passover of Jesus, which accomplishes the revelation, reaches us in the symbolic rite of the Mass, which makes present and contemporary to us the last supper and, in it, the death and resurrection of Jesus: makes it contemporary to us that we celebrate it .
In the Eucharist, it is not we who endeavor to return with thought and memory to what Jesus once did with his disciples. Rather, it is a living memory: Jesus reaches us by entering into our daily existence with his Easter.
2. The Mass is the most perfect implementation of the Church.
Christians fully united with Jesus in the Eucharist are for this reason closely united among themselves, and by the power of this sacrament come to constitute the body of Christ which is the Church. Therefore, the Eucharist makes the Church! We are never as much a church as when we participate in the Eucharist.
3. The Mass is the celebration which contains in synthesis what is most essential in the life of the Church.
In other words: the life of the Church is a development of the Mass. In fact, in the Mass, the three founding elements of the Church are fully and closely connected: the word of Jesus, the paschal offering of his body and his blood, the communion of the faithful with the Risen Christ, present in their midst.
If we were to refer to a biblical image, we could rethink Jesus after the resurrection, while walking with the two disciples of Emmaus, explain the Scriptures to them, break their bread, making those two characters, sad and fugitives, a new community of friends and apostles (see Lk 24, 13-35). Likewise, in every Eucharist the risen Jesus is present in the proclamation of the Word, in explaining it, offering himself in bread and wine for us, making us a community of friends and apostles.
All the other elements of the life of the Church develop these three strands: Word, Eucharistic offering, communion. Never has there been a Mass without the Word of God or without the offering of the Body and Blood of the Lord; never has there been a mass without communion.
(Taken from the text I Sacramenti – Publisher In Dialogo del Card. Martini)