Stations of the Cross, Friday Roman Catholic Church's Way of the cross

The First Station: Jesus is Condemned to Death

Inline image 2
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
There is Jesus now, standing quietly and calmly before Pilate.  He is bruised and bleeding from beatings.  They have made a crown of thorns and put it on his head.  Pilate wants to please the people so he believes their false stories about Jesus.  He orders that Jesus be crucified.
Oh, poor Jesus, how can they do this to you, you who are so gentle and kind to us all?  But how can you be so calm and so quiet when they spread untrue stories about you? Why do you not shout out, "No, I’m innocent!  Stop hurting me!"
Dear Jesus, please help me to never falsely accuse anyone or to ridicule or insult them.  Make me kind and loving to all.

The Second Station: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

Inline image 3

We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Now the soldiers make Jesus carry the heavy cross through the streets.  Jesus looks so tired and weak.  The people seem to be pleased with his humiliation and suffering.  Such hostility I do not understand.
Each of us has our cross to carry. We each have problems big and small.  Even though we often do not understand why, we go on and believe.
Dear Jesus, help me to carry my crosses.  Help me to do what is expected and give my all.  Through my belief in you, I will be able to continue on even through suffering and when I do not understand.

The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time

Inline image 4
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
The cross is sometimes too heavy even for Jesus.  He has fallen to the ground, but he drags himself to his feet and continues on his journey.
I see you, Jesus, struggle with your cross, the weight of the wood pulling you down.  The hostility of the crowd also weighs on you until both you and our burden fall to the ground. But you get up slowly, determined and motivated.  Where do you get your strength?
Dear Jesus, help me to be patient with everyone.  When my own cross gets heavy, help me to not give up easily, but to struggle on.

The Fourth Station: Jesus Meets His Mother

​​Inline image 5​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Jesus’ mother, Mary, pushes herself to the front of the crowd and meets her son, Jesus. How can she cope knowing that her son is in such pain and will soon have a terrible death?
No mother should have to go through this.  Why doesn’t someone take her away? I would not want my mother to suffer as she is suffering.  Where does she get her strength? I can see she is determined to be there for you to the very end.
Oh Jesus, help us to always be a comfort to our own mothers, as you comforted your mother on that Friday.  They love us so much and their thoughts and prayers are always for their children.

The Fifth Station: Simon Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross

Inline image 6

We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
The soldiers notice Jesus is too exhausted to go on, so they force a man named Simon to help Jesus carry his cross.
Jesus, at last someone is ordered to help you.  He does so reluctantly, no doubt fearing the ridicule of the crowd. Isn’t it ironic, that you have disciples numbering in the thousands, yet you must walk your last journey alone, with only a stranger to assist you.
Oh, Jesus, help me to always be willing to help others who are in need.  I do not want to be selfish; help me to show love and compassion to everyone.

The Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Inline image 7
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus with a cloth.  His kind, loving face is covered with sweat and blood.  Where did she get the courage to rush past the soldiers and act in such a kind manner?  The soldiers were angry with her, but Jesus smiles and thanks her.  The image of his face stays on the cloth as a reminder of all that Jesus suffered.
Jesus, a woman comes from the crowd and taking fresh linen cloth, wipes the blood and sweat from your face.  For the first time today, I feel a small stirring of hope.  Someone has found a simple way to ease your discomfort.  It’s surprising how one act of kindness can give hope even when there seems to be no escape.
Dear Jesus, help me to be kind like Veronica.  Teach me to show love and kindness to others always.  Even the simplest acts of kindness can mean so much.

The Seventh Station: Jesus Falls the Second Time

Inline image 8
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Jesus is so tired that he falls again under the weight of the heavy cross.  He is bruised and bleeding and the soldiers whip him to hurry him along.
Jesus, you fall again, and once more you manage to get up.  I see your limbs with weakness.  The scourging has sapped you of all your strength.  Will you be able to continue?
Dear Jesus, help me to be strong and determined when nothing seems to be right.  When I am not doing well in life, help me to keep on trying and to do my best to improve.  Please don’t let me give up.


The Eighth Station: Jesus Speaks to the Women of Jerusalem

Inline image 9
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Mary and some of the other women are crying and feeling so sorry for Jesus.  They love him very much.  As he passes them, Jesus speaks to them, even though he is very tired and weak.  He asks them not to cry for him and they seem to be comforted by his words.
Had I been you, I would have cursed the crowd and the fate that had brought me to this way of the cross. But you speak only words of compassion for the anonymous women who show you pity.  "Weep not for me," you say.  "Weep for yourselves and your children."  Their future pain is more real to you than your own.
Dear Jesus, help me to be a comfort to others when they are suffering.  Teach me not to think of my own troubles, but to reach out and help my family and friends.

The Ninth Station: Jesus Falls the Third Time

Inline image 10
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
By now, Jesus is absolutely exhausted.  He has come to the hill where he will be crucified and, as he carries the cross up the hill, he falls the third time. I’m sure he feels that he can’t go on anymore.
Jesus, I can hardly bear to watch you struggle.  You fall a third time.  And then, without hesitation, without assistance, without any prodding, you rise.  You get up again.  What is the destiny and the destination that calls your forward? What vision keeps you going?
Dear Jesus, give me courage and strength to go on when I am not doing well.  The drive to go forward despite adversity.  To make it on my own with energy and vitality.

The Tenth Station: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothes

Inline image 11
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
Finally reaching Golgotha, the soldiers roughly tear Jesus’ clothes from his battered, bloodstained body.  He is so weak and frail. They divided his clothes among themselves and cast lots for his tunic.
Jesus, your journey is over.  As if following an accustomed routine, the soldiers remove your garments - the final I.  And what do you have left?  Everything seems to be taken from you: your good name, your physical well-being, your following of disciples, and now even your decency.
Oh Jesus, they have taken away your clothes, but they have not taken away your great love for us.  You have shown love to us even when we abandoned you.  Help us never to abandon you again, but to love you always.

The Eleventh Station: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Inline image 12
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
The agony Jesus is in and the soldiers nail his hands and feet to the cross.  The pain on his face.  But still, he asks his Father in heaven to forgive the soldiers.  Is there no end to this man’s compassion and love and forgiveness?
The horror of the day has finally begun to touch the crowd.  The soldiers nail you to the cross.  Yet in your unconditional compassion and forgiveness you ask for mercy on those who have put you through this ordeal.
Dear Jesus, help me to love and forgive my family and friends,  even when they hurt me.  Teach me not to bear grudges and have enemies, but to forgive and forget.

The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Inline image 13
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
After three long hours on the cross, poor Jesus dies.  Darkness settles over the land, even though it is only 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  The earth trembles and we are all afraid.  I am so sad to see Jesus dead on the cross.
Lord Jesus, your broken and lifeless body calls me to deeper faith.  You chose death, even on the cross.  Help me to see my crosses as ways of loving you.
Dear Jesus, I know you have died on the cross today to show me how much you love me.  There is no end to your love.  You died to save me.  I do not deserve all this love and yet I know that you will love me always.


The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

Inline image 14
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross.  His heart-broken mother, Mary, holds him in her arms and cries. It is so sad to watch her holding  the limp body of her son.
After all the waiting, the end comes quickly.  There is finality about it all.  Your lifeless body taken down from the cross. There is nothing glorious about your death.  A heavy, heavy weight pulls me down and oppresses my spirit.
Dear Jesus, help me to be a comfort to others who are sad.  Help me to console my family and my friends when they are upset.

The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Inline image 15
We adore you, O Christ and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross, you have saved the world.
A kind man named Joseph offers  a tomb to Mary for the body of Jesus.  With great love and sadness, his body is wrapped in a clean sheet and laid in the tomb.  His tomb is in a small garden and a big stone blocks the opening of the tomb.  A soldier is ordered to stand guard over the tomb in case someone tries to steal Jesus’ body.
Your burial takes place quietly.  Those who stayed with you through these last hours are those who shared in your hopes and dreams.  Their sorrow weights heavily on them, but they continue to tell their stories about the one they called the Messiah.  You preached love and forgiveness.  I saw it overcome by the weight of the cross.  I saw it suffer, and  I saw it die.  I saw love today and it was beautiful.
Dear Jesus, there are many times in our lives when things fall apart, when dreams are shattered, when hope no longer seems possible.  In our poverty, our brokenness, we come to you for healing.  In those times of trial, Jesus, remind us of your love, remind us of your forgiveness, remind us of your promise to be with us always, and grant us the grace to go forward in faith.

0 comments:

Post a Comment