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Leader: We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:22-23,26 Pilate said to them: “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said: “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked: “What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more: “Let him be crucified!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified. MEDITATION The Judge of the world, who will come again to judge us all, stands there, dishonored and defenseless before the earthly judge. Pilate is not utterly evil. He knows that the condemned man is innocent, and he looks for a way to free him. But his heart is divided. And in the end he lets his own position, his own self-interest, prevail over what is right. Nor are the men who are shouting and demanding the death of Jesus utterly evil. Many of them, on the day of Pentecost, will feel “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37), when Peter will say to them: “Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God... you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law” (Acts 2:22ff.). But at that moment they are caught up in the crowd. They are shouting because everyone else is shouting, and they are shouting the same thing that everyone else is shouting. And in this way, justice is trampled underfoot by weakness, cowardice and fear of the diktat of the ruling mindset. The quiet voice of conscience is drowned out by the cries of the crowd. Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.
PRAYER Lord, you were condemned to death because fear of what other people may think suppressed the voice of conscience. So too, throughout history, the innocent have always been maltreated, condemned and killed. How many times have we ourselves preferred success to the truth, our reputation to justice? Strengthen the quiet voice of our conscience, your own voice, in our lives. Look at me as you looked at Peter after his denial. Let your gaze penetrate our hearts and indicate the direction our lives must take. On the day of Pentecost you stirred the hearts of those who, on Good Friday, clamoured for your death, and you brought them to conversion. In this way you gave hope to all. Grant us, ever anew, the grace of conversion. Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father.... Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. All: Have mercy on Us. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace. All: Amen.
Second Station : Jesus carries His cross. Leader: We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. From the Gospel according to Matthew. 27:27-31 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying: “Hail, King of the Jews!”. They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
Help us to acknowledge your face in the lowly and the outcast. And so he goes before us and points out to us the way which leads to true life. to justice and to the dignity of man! How many times are their pomps and their lofty words nothing but grandiose lies... You carried your own Cross and you ask us to follow you on this path (cf. He takes up the Cross. Mt 10:38). PRAYER Lord. All: Amen. and not to shun it.. Help us not to ally ourselves with those who look down on the weak and suffering.After mocking him.. The price of justice in this world is suffering: Jesus. Then they led him away to crucify him. MEDITATION Jesus. Help us to follow the path of love and. Ps 45:7). Rest in peace. our cross. does not reign through violence. borne by the great ones of this world. the burden of the world.. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. How often are the symbols of power.. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. which ridicules our obedience to your will. Help us to take up the Cross.. His sceptre is justice (cf. Glory Be to the Father.. a parody of their solemn obligation to serve the common good! It is because Jesus is mocked and wears the crown of suffering that he appears as the true King. they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. in submitting to its demands. to find true joy. is mocked. May we never lose heart when faced with the contempt of this world. Hail Mary. an affront to truth.. condemned as an imposter king. 3 . but this very mockery lays bare a painful truth. you willingly subjected yourself to mockery and scorn. the true King. Our Father. the burden of being human. through the mercy of God. May we never complain or become discouraged by life’s trials. All: Have mercy on Us. but through a love which suffers for us and with us.
All we like sheep have gone astray. no longer the image of God.. and afflicted. but a mockery of the Creator. but emptied himself. There is a more profound meaning in this fall. 4 . In Jesus’s fall beneath the weight of the Cross. the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus’ fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus. he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. but can be the masters of our own lives. and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself. MEDITATION Man has fallen. upon him was the chastisement that made us whole. The nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves. as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: “though he was in the form of God. exhausted from his scourging. we have turned everyone to his own way. being born in the likeness of men. 53:4-6 Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows. taking the form of a servant.Third Station : Jesus falls for the first time. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death. smitten by God. and by his stripes we are healed. even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8). in this attempt to be our own god. But he was wounded for our transgressions.. fell among robbers who stripped him and left him halfdead and bleeding beside the road. Is not the man who. he was bruised for our iniquities. and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement. and bless Thee. O Christ. yet we esteemed him stricken. Leader: We adore Thee. on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. In this rebellion against truth. From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. the arrogance which makes us think that we do not need his eternal love.
in our pride. Fourth Station : Jesus meets His mother. by his abasement he lifts us up. we fall headlong and plunge into selfdestruction. the One who humbled himself. to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters. PRAYER Lord Jesus. From the Gospel according to Luke. we hope to conquer death by our own efforts.51 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: “Behold. Hail Mary. Let us allow him to lift us up. You came to us when. All: Have mercy on Us. Leader: We adore Thee. by learning from your humility. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Lord help us.. we have fallen. and bless Thee. we were laid low.. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. or mere human weakness. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. to be bought and sold. The humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride. our false illusions of independence.. The weight of our sin... this child is destined for the falling and rising of many in 5 . yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity.. the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground... through the mercy of God. Rest in peace. The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and. 2:34-35. O Christ. to rise again.creator and judge. All: Amen. Glory Be to the Father. and learn from him. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency. the weight of our pride. Our Father.. brought you down. or stored to provide parts for experimentation. But your fall is not a tragedy. In doing this.
when the Son of man comes. yet she did not flee. And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk 2:35). the family of his disciples. and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce through your own soul also. you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Mother of the Lord. you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus.. words like these: “He was oppressed. we also find Mary. It was said to Mary: “And behold. yet he opened not his mouth. will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). She stayed there. Then he came down with them and went to Nazareth.). a Mother’s fidelity. Even before she conceived him bodily. In this hour. “Nevertheless. with a Mother’s courage. Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is brother. Yes. not only physically. She would then recall the words of the prophets. She also had to hear the words: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?. to make place for the birth of Jesus’ new family. and he was afflicted. Now it all takes place.Israel. through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. his Mother. MEDITATION On Jesus’ Way of the Cross. spoken to her in the beginning: “Do not be afraid. The disciples fled. and sister and mother” (Mt 12:48-50). but also in her heart. a Mother’s goodness. he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is 54:7). He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:31ff.. PRAYER Holy Mary. During his public life she had to step aside. Just as you believed the angels incredible message – 6 . And his mother kept all these things in her heart. and a faith which did not waver in the hour of darkness: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). Mary” (Lk 1:30). in this moment Jesus knows: he will find faith. this is his great consolation. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel.
All: Amen. Our Father. MEDITATION Simon of Cyrene is on his way home.. who were evidently known as 7 . perhaps. Glory Be to the Father. Hail Mary. at the hour of the Cross.that you would become the Mother of the Most High... and bless Thee. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. but reluctantly.. 27:32... Significantly. Fifth Station : Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry His cross. this man they compelled to carry his cross.. when he comes upon the sad procession of those condemned – for him. From the Gospel according to Matthew. How annoying he must have thought it to be suddenly caught up in the fate of those condemned men! He does what he must do. they came upon a man of Cyrene. take up his cross and follow me. through the mercy of God. you became the Mother of all believers. In this way. Jesus told his disciples: “If any man would come after me. Leader: We adore Thee. Rest in peace. O Christ. but also his children. let him deny himself. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. We beg you: teach us to believe. the Mother of the Church. it was a common sight. All: Have mercy on Us. and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance. returning from work. the Evangelist Mark does not only name him. at the hour of the world’s darkest night.. The soldiers force this rugged man from the country to carry the Cross on his own shoulders. 16:24 As they went out. Simon by name. so too you believed at the hour of his greatest abasement. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world..
The Cyrenian. Jesus. the grace of faith. Sixth Station : Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. Help us to realize that it is a grace to be able to share the cross of others and... Mk 15:21). Help us to aid our neighbours in need. walking beside Jesus and sharing the burden of the Cross.Christians and as members of that community (cf. touched his heart. Glory Be to the Father. through the mercy of God. In this way we obtain salvation. Whenever we show kindness to the suffering. silent and suffering. came to see that it was a grace to be able to accompany him to his crucifixion and to help him. when we share in your suffering and the sufferings of this world. know that we are walking with you along the way. and share in their sufferings.. the persecuted and defenceless. you opened the eyes and heart of Simon of Cyrene. PRAYER Lord. Help us to appreciate with joy that. and help contribute to the salvation of the world. From this chance encounter. All: Amen.. in this way. we become servants of salvation and are able to help build up your Body. by his share in your Cross. faith was born. and you gave him.. we help to carry that same Cross of Jesus. 8 .. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. whose divine love alone can redeem all humanity. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. All: Have mercy on Us.. The mystery of Jesus. the Church.. Our Father.. Hail Mary. Col 1:24). even when this interferes with our own plans and desires. Rest in peace. wants us to share his Cross so that we can complete what is still lacking in his suffering (cf.
Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his human face. From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. Veronica – Bernice. amid turmoil and dismay. in the Greek tradition – embodies the universal yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament. 42:2-3 As the deer longs for flowing streams so my soul longs for you. He was despised and rejected by men. PRAYER Lord. “Blessed are the pure in heart”. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. From the Book of Psalms. Only love enables us to recognize the God who is love itself. and as one from whom men hide their faces. grant us restless hearts. Lord. she at first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a facecloth to Jesus. which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. Hide not your face from me” (Ps 27:89). My soul thirst for God. bloodied and bruised. a man of sorrows.Leader: We adore Thee. Only with the heart can we see Jesus. she saw the face of God and his goodness. who. though. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see. hearts which seek your face. She is the image of that good woman. do I seek. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. On Jesus’ Way of the Cross. At first. and bless Thee. the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount. 53:2-3 He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him. O God. “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). O Christ. and acquainted with grief. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of 9 . Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face. MEDITATION “Your face. the yearning of all believers to see the face of God. shows the courage born of goodness and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. and no beauty that we should desire him. for the living God.
. MEDITATION The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam – the state of fallen humanity – and the mystery of Jesus’ own sharing in our fall. but the meek shall possess the land. All: Amen. he will not be there. and bless Thee. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? From the Book of Psalms.. lust of the 10 . Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. when I complain to you. Leader: We adore Thee. In his First Letter. Impress your face on our hearts. Yet a little while. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.. All: Have mercy on Us..1 You are righteous. be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass. Rest in peace. 10-11 Fret not because of the wicked. and wither like the green herb... O Christ. Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognize your presence in the world.. From the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah 12. Yet I would plead my case before you. and the wicked will be no more. When we are not able to accomplish great things. Our Father. Glory Be to the Father. grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness.. 37:1-2. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. Seventh Station : Jesus falls for the second time. Hail Mary. though you look well at his place. Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh.things. May we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world. and delight themselves in abundant prosperity. through the mercy of God. O Lord..
he touches our hearts. Keep us sober and vigilant. no longer believing in anything. He gazes on us. with all its excesses and perversions. PRAYER Lord Jesus Christ.. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. in more recent times.. in order to meet us.. give us a heart of flesh. Free us from the bonds of lust. so that we may lift others up. 11 . and to give them the help they need. All: Amen. Lay low the power of ideologies.. Hail Mary. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed.. over and over again.. so that all may see that they are a web of lies. Glory Be to the Father. Lift us up.. he falls in order to raise us up. a heart capable of seeing. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time. And so man lies fallen in the dust. have built a new and worse paganism. of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies. Make us aware of your presence. and the banal existence of those who. All: Have mercy on Us. Rest in peace. simply drift through life. so that we may bring your hope to the world. In place of a heart of stone. Lift us up. Give us hope at every moment of darkness. you have borne all our burdens and you continue to carry us. capable of resisting the forces of evil. through the mercy of God. for by ourselves we cannot rise from the dust. have ended up doing away with man. Our Father. which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all. The Lord bears this burden and falls. But we can also think. Do not let the wall of materialism become unsurmountable..eyes and the pride of life. Our weight has made you fall.. Help us to recognise the spiritual and material needs of others.
“We are only human!” Yet as we contemplate the sufferings of the Son. O Christ. the days are coming when they will say. and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome. and the breasts that never nursed!’. one which fails to lead to conversion and living faith? It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. we are all too prepared to trivialize the mystery of evil? Have we accepted only the gentleness and love of God and Jesus. For behold. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Can it be that. How should we understand his words? Are they not directed at a piety which is purely sentimental. 12 . and bless Thee. ‘Blessed are the barren. From the Gospel according to Luke. Before the image of the suffering Lord. but weep for yourselves and for your children. we say. 31 A great number of people followed him.. and the wombs that never bore. For if they do this when the wood is green.Eighth Station : Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem. Leader: We adore Thee. and quietly set aside the word of judgement? “How can God be so concerned with our weaknesses?”. 23:27-29. weep for yourselves. and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. To us too. he says: “Do not weep for me. what will happen when it is dry?” MEDITATION Hearing Jesus reproach the women of Jerusalem who follow him and weep for him ought to make us reflect. we see more clearly the seriousness of sin. evil can no longer be trivialized.. And so the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves. if they do this when the wood is green. despite all our expressions of consternation in the face of evil and innocent suffering. But Jesus turned to them and said: “Daughters of Jerusalem. what will happen when it is dry?”. do not weep for me. He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgement.
All: Amen. 13 . my Holy One? Your eyes are too pure to behold evil. make it plain on tablets. You call us to leave behind the trivialization of evil. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified.. why do you look on the treacherous. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. through the mercy of God. Grant that we may not simply walk at your side. bearing fruit for eternal life (cf. All: Have mercy on Us. wait for it.. O Christ. which salves our consciences and allows us to carry on as before. my God. it will surely come. it speaks of the end. O Lord. Convert us and give us new life. Jn 15:1-10). so that a runner may read it.... the Judge of the world. Leader: We adore Thee. Our Father. You show us the seriousness of our responsibility. to the weeping women you spoke of repentance and the Day of Judgement. From the Book of the Prophet Habakkuk 1:12-13. If it seems to tarry.PRAYER Lord. and bless Thee. Grant that in the end we will not be dry wood. the true vine... the danger of our being found guilty and without excuse on the Day of Judgement. 2:2-3 Are you not from of old. and are silent when the wicked swallow those more righteous than they? “Write the vision. it will not delay. Rest in peace. Ninth Station : Jesus falls for the third time. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. Hail Mary. but living branches in you. For there is still a vision for the appointed time. when all of us will stand before your face: before you.. with nothing to offer other than compassionate words.. and you cannot look on wrongdoing. and does not lie. Glory Be to the Father.
Glory Be to the Father. is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer.... for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall. where he waits for us. we drag you down to earth. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again. Mt 8: 25). The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion.. Adam continues to fall. so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church... in the priesthood. PRAYER Lord. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused. Have mercy on your Church. save us (cf. you arose and you can also raise us up. ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride. how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves. But you will rise again.. after all our lofty words and grand gestures. your Church often seems like a boat about to sink. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison – Lord. Our Father. and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Hail Mary. Save and sanctify us all. and even among those who. how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.MEDITATION What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general. their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood. 14 .. a boat taking in water on every side. His betrayal by his disciples. you will remain prostrate and overpowered. and Satan laughs. without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories. You stood up. When we fall. within her too. he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church. Save and sanctify your Church. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. it pierces his heart. ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion..
the soldiers draw lots to divide his paltry possessions. Rest in peace. everything that happens is contained in the Word of God and sustained by his divine plan. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. All: Amen. it gives him his place in society. MEDITATION Jesus is stripped of his garments. despised by all alike. Tenth Station : Jesus clothes are taken away. but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be”. Clothing gives a man his social position. he reminds us that we have all lost the “first garment” that is God’s splendour. he is simply an outcast. Stripped of his garments. All: Have mercy on Us. Nothing is mere coincidence. his clothes. one for each soldier. woven from top to bottom. The moment of the stripping reminds us of the expulsion from Paradise: God’s splendour has fallen away from man. by doing so they tell us the same thing that Jesus would tell his disciples on the road to Emmaus: that everything takes place “according to the Scriptures”. and bless Thee. they took his garments and made four parts. 19:23-24 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus. and for my clothing they cast lots”. At the foot of the Cross. The Evangelists describe the scene with words drawn from Psalm 22:19. also his tunic. From the Gospel according to John. Leader: We adore Thee. through the mercy of God. This was to fulfil the Scripture: “They parted my garments among them. But the tunic was without seam. The Lord passes 15 . unclad and ashamed. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. it makes him someone. who now stands naked and exposed. His public stripping means that Jesus is no longer anything at all.Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. so they said to one another: “Let us not tear it. And so Jesus once more takes on the condition of fallen man. O Christ.
the Crucified One. You also take upon yourself the sufferings and the needs of the poor... Josephus. and bless Thee. Clothe us in the light of your grace. for all its bitterness.through all the stages and steps of man’s fall from grace. For he.. Let us not forget that John says that lots were drawn for Jesus’s tunic. becomes a step towards our redemption: this is how he carries home the lost sheep.. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.. us. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. and the whole world in his hands. you were stripped of your garments. 161). We may consider this as a reference to the High Priest’s robe.. Our Father. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. and in all the situations in which we encounter him. the outcasts of our world. And in this very way you fulfil the words of the prophets. All: Amen. Eleventh Station : Jesus is nailed on the cross. Give us a profound respect for man at every stage of his existence. Rest in peace. You took upon yourself the shame of Adam. From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:35-42 16 . without stitching (Fl. O Christ. yet each of these steps. through the mercy of God. This is how you bring meaning into apparent meaninglessness.. This is how you make us realize that your Father holds you. Glory Be to the Father. PRAYER Lord Jesus.. and you healed it. All: Have mercy on Us. “woven without seam from top to bottom” (Jn 19:23). cast out of society. Hail Mary. which was “woven from a single thread”. Leader: We adore Thee. is the true High Priest. a III.. exposed to shame.
so to speak. another thought comes to mind. Let us try to see his face in the people we might look down upon.. He is the King of Israel.And when they had crucified him. but endured its suffering to the end. they divided his garments among them by casting lots. save yourself! If you are the Son of God. then they sat down and kept watch over him there. The shroud of Turin gives us an idea of the unbelievable cruelty of this procedure. scorned by men. “As one from whom men hide their faces. a prisoner in chains for his faith in the Lord. let him come down now from the Cross and we will believe in him”. Then two robbers were crucified with him. Ignatius of Antioch. Jesus does not drink the numbing gall offered to him: he deliberately takes upon himself all the pain of the Crucifixion.). who did not use his power to come down from the Cross. rejected by the people” (Ps 22:7). As we stand before the condemned Lord. resisting the temptation to stand apart. So also the chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him. Let us halt before this image of pain. the words of the Psalm have come to pass: “But I am a worm and no man. wagging their heads and saying: “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days. he cannot save himself. 17 . saying: “He saved others. he was despised.. And over his head they put the charge against him. Let us nail ourselves to him. His whole body is racked. nailed with flesh and blood to the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (1:1). praised the Christians of Smyrna for their invincible faith: he says that they were. one on the right hand and one on the left. Let us look upon him at times of presumptuousness and pleasure. before the suffering Son of God. surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Is 53:3f. and realize that it is then that we are closest to God. And those who passed by derided him. MEDITATION Jesus is nailed to the Cross. in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. come down from the Cross”. which read: “This is Jesus the King of the Jews”. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation. or to join others in mocking him.
Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. All: Have mercy on Us. Help us to remain faithful to you. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. through the mercy of God.. “bound” fast to you. and the disciple whom he loved standing near. Eli. Glory Be to the Father.PRAYER Lord Jesus Christ. O Christ. Our Father. you let yourself be nailed to the Cross. Twelfth Station : Jesus dies on the cross.... Help us to accept your “binding” freedom. and.. and Mary Magdalene. accepting the terrible cruelty of this suffering. All: Amen.. he said to his mother: “Woman. Mary. and his mother’s sister. lama sabachthani?”. Help us to unmask the false freedom which would distance us from you. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.. Hail Mary. From the Gospel according to John 19:25-27 Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother. the wife of Clopas. you did not try to escape or to lessen your suffering. the destruction of your body and your dignity. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Leader: We adore Thee. 18 . And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice: “Eli. behold your son!” Then he said to the disciples: “Behold your mother!”. From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:45-46. and bless Thee. May we never flee from what we are called to do. Rest in peace.. 50 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.. You allowed yourself to be nailed fast. When Jesus saw his mother. to discover true freedom.
And yet. why have you forsaken me?” (Ps 22:2). From the Cross he triumphs – ever anew. because it would have suggested a mistaken. He takes to himself the whole suffering people of Israel. my God. when the Son of God is given up to death. and in Hebrew. Jesus prays Psalm 22. the God who is love. seems obscured. Precisely by being the one who suffers and 19 . a sign stood above the Cross of Jesus. Jesus himself had not accepted the title “Messiah”. Through your great sufferings and the wickedness of men. and acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God. which begins with the words: “My God. on the Cross. the drama of God’s darkness. became a prophet despite himself. Now we know what true kingship is. The Roman centurion understands this. In sinking to the depths he rose to the heights. Now we know who God is. he has completed the offering of himself. the unjust judge. the Church of the Gentiles is born. the promised Son of David. He is indeed the king of the world. Yet now the title can remain publicly displayed above the Crucified Christ. And on the Cross. my God. Now he is truly “lifted up”. The Cross of Jesus is a cosmic event. and in this way he is now the revelation of the true God. the language of the Chosen People. MEDITATION In Greek and Latin. unrecognizable. Pilate. your face. Ever anew you are being nailed to the Cross. the face of God. you have revealed yourself. why have you forsaken me?” And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. at the hour of your death the sun was darkened. The world is darkened. The kingship of Jesus was proclaimed before all the world. Now he has radically fulfilled the commandment of love. The earth trembles. and he makes God present in the very place where he seems definitively vanquished and absent. At this present hour of history we are living in God’s darkness.that is: “My God. PRAYER Lord Jesus Christ. indicating who he was: the King of the Jews. the two international languages of the time. human idea of power and deliverance. all of suffering humanity.
Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. pierced by the lance of the Roman soldier.. who also was a disciple of Jesus. ministering to him. named Joseph. Leader: We adore Thee. All: Amen.. Help us to believe in you and to follow you in our hour of darkness and need.. Help us to recognize your face at this hour of darkness and tribulation. MEDITATION Jesus is dead. From the Cross on high you have triumphed.. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. Glory Be to the Father. Hail Mary. Jesus’ legs are not broken. there came a rich man from Arimathea. Thirteenth Station : Jesus is condemned to death... As they were gathering in Galilee. Reveal to us your salvation. looking on from afar. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. Baptism and the Eucharist. and he will be raised on the third day”. O Christ. Jesus said to them: “The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men. Rest in peace. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 17:22-2 There were also many women there. and they will kill him. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus... He is 20 . and bless Thee. you are exalted.. All: Have mercy on Us. by which the Church is constantly reborn from the opened heart of the Lord. When it was evening. like those of the two men crucified with him. And they were greatly distressed. flow blood and water: a mysterious image of the stream of the sacraments. From his heart. who had followed Jesus from Galilee. through the mercy of God. From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:55. Show yourself once more to the world at this hour. 57-58. Our Father.loves.
Joseph of Arimathea. A member of the Sanhedrin also comes along. you descended into the darkness of death. Faith has not completely died. the sister of his Mother. And now. in a garden. The garden tomb symbolizes that the dominion of death is about to end. Give us the fidelity to withstand moments of confusion and a love ready to embrace you in your utter helplessness. PRAYER Lord. help us to know that you are still there. Even in the Sanhedrin. like your Mother. the cemetery becomes a garden. A wealthy man. who once more holds you to her breast. which decreed his death. There are faithful ones who remain with him. to look beyond all our fears and 21 . for God has given him the grace. there is a believer. Nicodemus. he was never alone. Mary Magdalen and the disciple whom he loved. At Jesus’s burial. Do not abandon us when we are tempted to lose heart. his Creator. But your body is placed in good hands and wrapped in a white shroud (Mt 27:59). In the hour of darkness. Under the Cross stand Mary. The hidden God continues to be the God of life. the garden from which Adam was cast out when he abandoned the fullness of life. Es 12:46). Even in the night of death. at the end of his sufferings. begins to take shape. simple and learned. his Mother. the light of hope is mysteriously present. the sun has not completely set. for all the power of hatred and cowardice. to whom Jesus had proclaimed the mystery of rebirth by water and the Spirit. Help us. the poor and rich. someone who knows and recognizes Jesus after his death. ever near. his new family. He buries Jesus in his own empty tomb. Mary.thus revealed as the true Paschal lamb. appears on the scene: a rich man is able to pass through the eye of a needle. the Lord continues to be our Lord and Saviour. of darkness and despair. In this hour of immense grief. Help us not to leave you alone. not one of whose bones must be broken (cf. How often does it appear that you are asleep? How easy it is for us to step back and say to ourselves: “God is dead”. The Church of Jesus Christ. for all the dismay which filled men’s hearts. it is clear that.
All: Have mercy on Us. Glory Be to the Father.. In the Son’s self-offering. Nicodemus brings a mixture of myrrh and aloes. which gives off a precious scent. For you will not leave my soul among the dead. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there. All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world. and thus to prepare a garden for the Resurrection.. and my soul rejoices. and laid it in his own new tomb. and departed. and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb. Fourteenth Station : Jesus is laid on the tomb... You show me the path of life. about a hundred pounds weight. which he had hewn in the rock. MEDITATION Jesus... Leader: We adore Thee. and to offer you our abilities. God offers himself unstintingly. disgraced and mistreated. If God’s measure is 22 . our hearts and our time. Hail Mary. sitting opposite the sepulchre.prejudices. From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:59-61 Joseph took the body. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed.. in your right hand are pleasures for evermore. O Christ. my body also rests secure. nor let your beloved know decay. Rest in peace. is honorably buried in a new tomb. we see an “excess” which evokes God’s generous and superabundant love. as at his anointing in Bethany. Our Father.. in your presence there is fullness of joy.. All: Amen. and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud. From the Book of Psalms. 16:9-11 My heart is glad. through the mercy of God. and bless Thee.
Through his Cross and Resurrection. At the very moment of his burial. the eternal Word of God became flesh and bread for us. the Bread of heaven. truly. Amid the decay of ideologies. I say to you. in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5:20). Jesus’ words are fulfilled: “Truly.). it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). it remains alone. Through the death of the grain of wheat you give us yourself. unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies. But we should also remember the words of Saint Paul. Help us to become your “fragrance”. PRAYER Lord Jesus Christ. so that your word can grow within us and bear fruit. The eternal Word. We are the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor 2:14ff. but if it dies. Help us grow in love and veneration for your Eucharistic mystery – to make you.superabundance. the source of our life. the Bread of Life. in your burial you have taken on the death of the grain of wheat. Jesus is the grain of wheat which dies. The mystery of the Eucharist already shines forth in the burial of Jesus. so that we too can dare to lose our life in order to find it. through his Incarnation and death. so that we too can trust the promise of the grain of wheat. Like the grain of wheat which rises from the earth. From that lifeless grain of wheat comes forth the great multiplication of bread which will endure until the end of the world. putting forth its 23 . From the tomb shines forth in every generation the promise of the grain of wheat which gives rise to the true manna. has become a Word which is close to us: you put yourself into our hands and into our hearts. then we for our part should consider nothing too much for God. This is the teaching of Jesus himself. Jesus is the bread of life which can satisfy superabundantly the hunger of all humanity and provide its deepest nourishment. who says that God “through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere. our faith needs once more to be the fragrance which returns us to the path of life. and to make known in this world the mysterious traces of your life. in which you offer us your very self. You have become the lifeless grain of wheat which produces abundant fruit for every age and for all eternity.
... Help us to rejoice in this hope and bring it joyfully to the world. 24 . nor let your flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:31. Glory Be to the Father. Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified. All: Have mercy on Us. Ps 16:10 LXX). All: Amen.. through the mercy of God. Help us to become witnesses of your resurrection.... Hail Mary.. Our Father. Rest in peace. You have risen. and have made a place for our transfigured flesh in the very heart of God. you did not see corruption. Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed. No. you could not remain enclosed in the tomb: the tomb is empty because he – the Father – “did not abandon you to the nether world.stalk and then its ear..
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