Is this really the way the Stations of the Cross are supposed to work?
Lord Jesus, Pope Francis has asked us to contemplate “the martyrs of our own time” saying, “They refuse to deny Jesus and they endure insult and injury with dignity. They follow him on his way.” Help us learn from them to follow in your footsteps.
Pilate condemns Jesus
“Crucify him!” they said. “The verdict of Pilate was that their demand should be granted.” Luke 23:21, 24
We remember those who stand before modern Pilates, atheist materialists, drug lords and Islamists from Colombia to China, powerful rulers who see Christ and his Church as an obstacle and want to destroy both in their people.
Lord Jesus, like our brothers and sisters before us, help us accept the unjust judgment of Pilate in order to show your perfect love and goodness.
The Second Station
Jesus Accepts His Cross
“Carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.” John 19:17
We remember Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio. In 1928 Mexico, the 15-year-old boy was tortured and attacked as he made his own way to his place of execution. “If you shout, ‘Death to Christ the King,’ we will spare your life,” the soldiers told him. Jose shouted “Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long live Christ the King!) and died a martyr.
Lord Jesus, when we are offered an opportunity to share your cross, give us the grace to say yes.
The Third Station
Jesus Falls the First Time
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” John 15:18
We remember those who stop practicing their faith in times of persecution. Not everyone is a hero. Many quietly denounce Christ either out of fear of reprisal, or for fear of unpopularity.
Lord Jesus, you fell on your way of the cross and then got up. Have mercy on those who have stopped practicing their faith when persecution has come in whatever form, and inspire them to return.
Is the suffering of Jesus supposed to make us think of international affairs and struggles among national powers? Or might it not be helpful for remembering the reason for his suffering and death, like my sin?