The central mystery of the Christian Faith is
the triumph of Jesus over sin through his Death on the Cross and
his Resurrection. Christ's victory, and its saving power are as
real now as they were on the first Good Friday and Easter Day. His
power fills Christians in their praying and living. His Death and
Resurrection are proclaimed in the Eucharist.
As well as claiming the victory of Christ in
these great events, Christians have meditated on the cost to Jesus
of his love. On the Way of the Cross he suffered physical pain and
degradation as well as emotional and mental anguish. The tradition
of tracing Christ's route through the streets of Jerusalem has spread
to the whole Church in the devotion we call Stations of the Cross.
The pictures along the route, the readings and the prayers all help
us to enter in spirit the events of Good Friday. As we meditate
on the cost to Jesus of love and obedience to God, we pray for those
who suffer; count the cost of our own obedience as we take up our
Cross and follow Jesus; and show our sorrow for the pain we bring
into the world through our own sin.
Jesus our Saviour, we kneel before you asking
your mercy for ourselves and for your whole Church, living and departed.
As we follow you on the way of the cross and consider your sufferings,
give us some share in all its merits. This road we intend to follow
was marked by your sweat and blood, it saw you despised and rejected
by men. Give us the spirit of true penitence, and help us to receive
with joy all the crosses and humiliations which come to us during
our pilgrimage through life, knowing that we are following you.
"What, then, shall I do
with Jesus called the Messiah?" Pilate asked them. "Crucify
him!" they all answered.
But Pilate asked "What crime has he committed?"
Then they started shouting at
the top of their voices "Crucify him!"
When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on,
but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his
hands in front of the crowd, and said, "I am not responsible
for the death of this man! This is your doing!"
The whole crowd answered, "Let the responsibility
for his death fall on us and our children!"
Then Pilate set Barabbas free for them; and
after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified.
Matthew 27: 22 - 26
JESUS, HELP US TO BE LESS JUDGEMENTAL
IN OUR ATTITUDES TO OTHERS. REMIND
US OFTEN OF YOUR SAYING "JUDGE NOT, THAT YOU BE NOT JUDGED".
Christ had to become like his
brothers and sisters in every way, in order to be their faithful
and merciful High Priest in his service to God, so that the people's
sins would be forgiven. And now he can help those who are tempted,
because he himself was tempted and suffered.
Hebrews 2: 17-18
JESUS GRANT THAT THOSE WHO ARE
LONELY AND AFRAID WILL BE ABLE TO FIND IN US SYMPATHY AND AFFECTION.
"You created every part
of me; you put me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because
you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know
it with all my heart.
When my bones were being formed,
carefully put together in my mother's womb, when I was growing there
in secret, you knew that I was there - and saw me before I was born.
The days allotted to me had all
been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began."
Psalm 139: 13 - 16
JESUS, MAKE OUR HOMES LIKE THE
HOME OF MARY AND JOSEPH AT NAZARETH.
CROSS IS LAID ON SIMON OF CYRENE(Extra)
"Happy are you when people
hate you, reject you, insult you, and say that you are evil, all
because of the Son of Man!
Be glad when that happens, and
dance for joy, because a great reward is kept for you in heaven.
For their ancestors did the very same things to their prophets."
Luke 6: 22 - 23
On the way they met a man named
Simon, who was coming into the city from the country, and the soldiers
forced him to carry Jesus' cross. (Simon was from Cyrene.)
Mark 15: 21
JESUS, HELP US TO SEE YOUR FACE
SHINING OUT OF EVERY HUMAN BEING WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
STATION 6: JESUS'
FACE IS WIPED BY ST VERONICA(Extra)
Then the King will say to the people on his
right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father! Come and possess
the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation
of the world. I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave
me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes;
naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in
prison and you visited me."
The righteous will then answer him, "When,
Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give
you drink? . . . . . . . . ."
The King will reply, "I
tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of
these members of my family, you did it for me!"
Matthew 25: 34 - 37, 40
JESUS, GIVE US THE COURAGE TO
STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD & BRING COMPASSION WHERE IT IS NEEDED.
Jesus answered them' "The
hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am
telling you the truth: a grain of wheat remains no more than a single
grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does
die, then it produces many grains."
John 12: 23 - 24
JESUS, HELP US NEVER TO RUN AWAY
FROM WHAT IS UNPLEASANT IN THIS LIFE. GIVE US THE COURAGE TO STAY
AND TO DO WHAT WE CAN.
STATION 8: JESUS
SPEAKS TO THE WOMEN OF JERUSALEM(Extra)
A large crowd of people followed him; among
them were some women who were weeping and wailing for him. Jesus
turned to them and said, "Women of Jerusalem! Don't cry for
me, but for yourselves and your children. For the days are coming
when people will say, 'How lucky are the women who never had children,
who never bore babies, who never nursed them!' That will be the
time when the people will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and
to the hills, 'Hide us!' For if such things as these are done when
the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?"
Luke 23: 27 - 31
JESUS, STOP US BEING SUPERFICIAL
PEOPLE. HELP US TO TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT THE THINGS THAT REALLY
Let us keep our eyes fixed on
Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end. He did not
give up because of the cross! On the contrary, because of the joy
that was waiting for him, he thought nothing of the disgrace of
dying on the cross, and he is now seated at the right-hand side
of God's throne.
Think of what he went through;
how he put up with so much hatred from sinners! So do not let yourselves
become discouraged and give up.
Hebrews 12: 2- 3
JESUS, DEEPEN OUR FAITH IN THE
FATHER'S LOVE. HELP TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE EVERLASTING ARMS WILL
NEVER ALLOW US TO FALL.
STATION 10: JESUS
IS STRIPPED OF HIS GARMENTS(Extra)
After the soldiers had crucified
Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one
part for each soldier. They also took the robe, which was made of
one piece of woven cloth without any seams in it. The soldiers said
to one another, "Let's not tear it; let's throw dice to see
who will get it." This happened in order to make the scripture
"They divided my clothes
among themselves and gambled for my robe."
John 19: 23 - 24
JESUS, HELP US FEEL IN THIS LIFE
FOR THE THINGS WHICH LAST TO ETERNITY.
"After a life of suffering,
he will again have joy; he will know that he did not suffer in vain.
My devoted servant, with whom I am pleased, will bear the punishment
of many and for his sake I will forgive them.
And so I will give him a place
of honour, a place among the great and powerful. He willing gave
his life and shared the fate of evil men. He took the place of many
sinners and prayed that they might be forgiven."
Isaiah 53: 11 - 12
JESUS, TAKE FROM US ALL BITTERNESS
AND HARDNESS OF HEART. HELP US TO LIVE GENEROUSLY AND WITHOUT SELFISHNESS.
Jesus knew that by now everything
had been completed; and in order to make the scripture come true,
he said, "I am thirsty."
A bowl was there, full of cheap
wine; so a sponge was soaked in the wine, put on a stalk of hyssop,
and lifted up to his lips. Jesus drank the wine and said, "It
is finished!" Then he bowed his head and died.
John 19: 28-30
JESUS, HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND MY
DEATH AS THE GATEWAY TO LIFE. WHEN THE MOMENT OF TRUTH COMES FOR
US, TAKE US BY THE HAND AND LEAD US TO ETERNAL LIFE.
STATION 13: JESUS'
BODY IS TAKEN DOWN FROM THE CROSS(Extra)
The soldiers went and broke the legs of the
first man and then of the other man who had been crucified with
Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already
dead, so they did not break his legs. One of the soldiers, however,
plunged his spear into Jesus' side, and at once blood and water
After this, Joseph, who was from the town
of Arimathea, asked Pilate if he could take Jesus' body. (Joseph
was a follower of Jesus, but in secret, because he was afraid of
the Jewish authorities.) Pilate told him that he could have the
body, so Joseph went and took it away.
John 19: 32 - 34, 38
JESUS, TEACH US TO HAVE JOY EVEN
IN THE GREATEST DIFFICULTY AND ADVERSITY, FOR JOY IS THE MARK OF
OUR CONFIDENCE IN THE FATHER'S LOVE.
STATION 14: JESUS'
BODY IS LAID IN THE SEPULCHRE(Extra)
Surely you know that when we
were baptised into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptised into
union with his death. By our baptism, then, we were buried with
him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised
from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might
live a new life.
Romans 6: 3 - 4
JESUS, HELP US ALWAYS TO BE OPEN
TO THE WILL OF THE FATHER. HELP US TO LIVE WITH EXPECTANCY AND HOPE.
You know what was paid to set
you free from the worthless manner of life handed down by your ancestors.
It was not something that could be destroyed, such as silver or
gold; it was the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb
without defect or flaw. He had been chosen by God before the creation
of the world and was revealed in these last days for your sake.
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from death and gave
him glory; and so your faith and hope are fixed on God.
1 Peter 1: 18 - 21
JESUS, REMEMBER US IN YOUR KINGDOM,
AND FILL US WITH YOUR NEW LIFE, NOW AND FOR EVER.
DYING, YOU DESTROYED OUR DEATH.
RISING, YOU RESTORED OUR LIFE. LORD JESUS, COME IN GLORY.