Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Stations of the Cross/Pope JP II PART 1 of 3

Pope John Paul II who is now considered Blessed and on to recognize him as a saint...He gave us these wonderful meditations on the Stations of the Cross... Soak in his words that have so much wisdom and know that the Holy Spirit was speaking through him.






The Holy Father's profound words to meditate upon...

 If any man would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross
and follow me
 Matthew 16:24

"For twenty centuries the Church has gathered on this evening to remember and to re-live the events of the final stage of the earthly journey of the Son of God.   Once again this year, the Church in Rome meets at the Colosseum, to follow the footsteps of Jesus, who “went out, carrying his cross, to the place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha” (Jn 19:17)."

"We are here because we are convinced

that the Way of the Cross
of the Son of God
was not simply a journey
to the place of
We believe
that every step
of the Condemned Christ,
every action
and every word,
as well as everything felt and done
by those who took part
in this tragic drama,
continues to speak to us."

"In his suffering and death too,
Christ reveals to us the truth about God and man."
"What does it mean
to have a part in the Cross of Christ?

It means to experience,
in the Holy Spirit,
the love hidden within
the Cross of Christ.


It means to  

 in the light 

of this love,

It means to take up that cross

once more and,

strengthened by this love,
to continue OUR journey...

To journey through life,

             in imitation of the one who...

“endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand
 of the throne of God”
Hebrews 12:2



Jesus is condemned to death

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“Are you the King of the Jews?” (Jn 18:33).

My Kingdom is not of this world;
if my Kingdom were of this world,
my servants would fight,
that I might not be handed over
to the Jews; but my Kingdom
is not from the world”
Jn 18:36).
Pilate said to him:
“So you are a king?”
Jesus answered:
   "You say that I am

 a king.
For this I was born,
and for this
 I have come into

the world,
 to bear witness to

the truth.

who is of the truth
hears my voice.” 

Pilate said in answer:
“What is truth?”
At this point, the Roman Procurator saw no need for further 

questions. He went to the Jews and told them: “I find no

crime in him” (cf. Jn 18:37-38).
"The tragedy of Pilate is hidden in the question:
What is truth?
This was no philosophical question about the nature of

truth, but an existential question about his own relationship

 with truth. It was an attempt to escape from the voice of

 conscience, which was pressing him to acknowledge the

 truth and follow it.
When someone refuses
to be guided by truth
he is ultimately ready even to condemn
an innocent person to death.

The accusers sense this weakness in Pilate and so do not yield. They relentlessly call for death by crucifixion.

Pilate’s attempts at half measures are of no avail. The cruel punishment of scourging inflicted upon the Accused is not enough.

When the Procurator brings Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns, before the crowd, he seems to be looking for words which he thinks might soften the intransigence of the mob.
Pointing to Jesus he says:
Ecce homo! Behold the man!
But the answer comes back:
“Crucify him, crucify him!”

Pilate then tries to buy time:
“Take him yourselves and crucify him,
for I find no crime in him”
John 19:5-7
He is increasingly convinced that the Accused is innocent, but this is not enough for him to decide in his favour.
The accusers use their final argument: “If you release this man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar” (Jn 19:12).
This is clearly a threat. Recognizing the danger, Pilate finally gives in and pronounces the sentence. But not without the contemptuous gesture of washing his hands: “I am innocent of this ... blood; see to it yourselves!” (Mt 27:24).
Thus was Jesus, the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of

the world, condemned to death by crucifixion.
Over the centuries the

denial of truth
has spawned suffering

 and death.
It is the innocent
who pay the price of

 human hypocrisy.
Half measures
are never enough. 

Nor is it enough to 

wash one’s hands...

Responsibility for the blood

of the just remains.
This is why Christ prayed so fervently
for his disciples in every age:
“sanctify them in the truth;
your word is truth (Jn 17:17).

Lord Jesus Christ, you accepted an unjust judgment.
Grant to us and to all the men and women of our time
the grace to remain faithful to the truth.
Do not allow the weight of responsibility
for the sufferings of the innocent
fall upon us and upon those who come after us.
To you, O Jesus, just Judge,
be honour and glory for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
Our Father...
Stabat Mater:
At the Cross her station keeping
stood the 
mournful Mother weeping, 
close to Jesus to
the last.
Jesus takes up his Cross
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

The cross.
The instrument of a
shameful death.
It was not lawful to condemn a Roman citizen to death
by crucifixion: it was too humiliating.
The moment that Jesus of
 Nazareth took up the Cross
in order to carry it to Calvary
 marked a turning-point in the history of the cross.
The symbol of a shameful death,
reserved for the lowest classes,
the cross becomes a key.

From now on, with the help of this key,
man will open the door
of the deepest mystery of God.
Through Christ’s acceptance of the Cross,

the instrument of his own self-emptying,
men will come to know 


God is love.

Love without limits:
“God so loved the world that he gave 

his only Son,
that whoever believes in him
should not perish but have eternal life”
John 3:16
This truth about God
was revealed in the Cross.

          Could it not have been revealed
 in some other way?

      Perhaps... But God chose the Cross.

The Father chose the Cross for his Son,
and his Son shouldered it,
carried it to Mount Calvary and on it 

offered his life.

“In the Cross there is suffering,
in the Cross there is salvation,
in the Cross there is a lesson of love.
O God, he who once has understood you,
desires nothing else, seeks nothing else”
(Polish Lenten hymn). 

The Cross is the sign of a love 
without limits!

Lord Jesus Christ, 
who accept the Cross at the hands of men
to make of it the sign
of God’s saving love for humanity,
grant us and all the men and women of our time
the grace of faith in this infinite love.
By passing on to the new millennium
the sign of the Cross,
may we be authentic witnesses to the Redemption.
To you, O Jesus, Priest and Victim,
be praise and glory for ever.

                                                            R. Amen.

Our Father...
Stabat Mater:

            Through her 

         heart, his 
    sorrow sharing,

      all his bitter 
 anguish bearing,

now at length
the sword had passed.

Jesus falls the first time

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
“God laid on him the

the sins of us all”
(cf. Is 53:6).
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6).

Jesus falls under the Cross. This will happen
three times
along the comparatively short stretch
of the "via dolorosa."
Exhaustion makes him fall.
His body is stained
with blood
from the scourging,
his head is crowned
 with thorns.
All this causes
 his strength to fail.
So he falls,
and the weight of the Cross
crushes him to the ground.

We must go back to the words of the Prophet,
who foresaw this fall centuries earlier.
It is as though he were contemplating it with his own eyes: seeing the Servant of the Lord, on the ground under the weight of the Cross,
he tells us the real cause of his fall.
It is this:
 “God laid on him the sins of us all”. 


that crushed
the divine Condemned One

to the ground.


It was OUR SINS 

the weight of the
that he carries on
his shoulders.


made him fall.
With difficulty Christ 
gets up again to continue his journey.
The soldiers escorting him
urge him on with shouts and blows.
After a moment the procession sets out again.
Jesus falls and gets up again.

In this way, the
of the world
addresses in a
     wordless way
  all those who fall.
He exhorts them to get up again.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the wood of the cross, that we might no longer live for sin but for righteousness – by his wounds we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pt 2:24).

Our Father...
Stabat Mater:
 Oh, how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother highly blessed
of the sole begotten One!

Jesus meets his Mother
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favour with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and
bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called
the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him
the throne of his father David,
and he will reign
over the house of Jacob for ever;
and his kingdom will have no end”
Lk 1:30-33

Mary remembered these words.
She often returned to them in the secret of her heart.
When she met her Son on the way of the Cross,
perhaps these very words came to her mind.
With particular force.
“He will reign... His kingdom will have no end”,
the heavenly messenger had said.

Now, as she watches her Son, condemned to death,
carrying the Cross on which he must die,
she might ask herself, all too humanly:
So how can these words be fulfilled?
In what way will he reign over the House of David?
And how can it be that his kingdom will have no end?
Humanly speaking, these are reasonable questions.
But Mary remembered that,
when she first heard the Angel’s message,
she had replied:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word”
(Lk 1:38).

Now she sees that her word
is being fulfilled
as the word of the Cross.
Because she is a mother,
Mary suffers deeply.
But she answers now as she had answered then,
at the Annunciation:
“May it be done to me
 according to your word”.
In this way, as a mother would,
she embraces the cross
together with the divine Condemned One.
On the way of the Cross Mary
shows herself to be the
Mother of the Redeemer of the world.

“All you who pass by the way,
look and see whether there is any suffering
like my suffering, which has been dealt me”
(Lamentations 1:12).

It is the Sorrowful Mother who speaks,
the Handmaid who is obedient to the last,
the Mother of the Redeemer of the world.
O Mary,
who walked the way of the Cross with your Son,
your mother’s heart torn by grief,
but mindful always of your fiat
and fully confident that He
to whom nothing is impossible
would be able to fulfil his promises,
implore for us and for the generations
yet to come the grace of surrender to God’s love.
Help us,
in the face of suffering,
rejection, and trial,
however prolonged and severe,
never to doubt his love. Jesus, your Son,
honour and glory for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
Our Father ...
Stabat Mater:
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs