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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Stations of the Cross/PopeJPII PART 3 of 3

Third and final part of the Stations with JJPII
ELEVENTH STATION
Jesus is nailed to the Cross
 

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
 

“They tear holes in
my hands and
my feet;

I can count
every one of my
bones”
(Ps 21:17- 18).

The words of the Prophet are
fulfilled.
The execution begins.

The torturers’ blows crush
the hands and feet of the
Condemned One against the
wood of the Cross.
The nails are driven violently

into his wrists.




Those nails
will hold the condemned man
 as he hangs in the midst of
the inexpressible torments of
 his agony.

In his body and
his supremely
sensitive spirit,
Christ suffers
in a way beyond
words.

If you are the Son of God save youself and us!!

With him there are crucified two real criminals, one on his
right, the other on his left.

 The prophecy is fulfilled:
 “He was numbered among the transgressors”
(Is 53:12).  
 
Once the torturers 
raise the Cross,
there will begin
an agony
that will last three
hours. This word too
must be fulfilled:




“When I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all people to myself”
(Jn 12:32).









What is it that “draws” us to the
Condemned One
in agony on the Cross?


Certainly the sight of such intense suffering stirs compassion.
But compassion is not enough to lead us to bind our very life
to the One who hangs on the Cross.
  
How is it
that,
generation
after
generation,
this
appalling
sight
Emperor Constantine and his mother St. Helena
holding the true cross
has drawn
countless hosts of
 people who have
made the
Cross
the hallmark of
 their faith?
St. Francis of Assisi bore the 'stigmata'
the marks of Christ in his hands
and feet
Hosts of
men and women
who for


centuries
have lived


St. Therese of Liseaux
and given their lives
looking to
this sign?
Blessed Pope John Paul II

From the Cross,
Christ
draws us
by the power
of love,
Divine Love,
which did not recoil
from the total gift of self;
Infinite
Love,
which on
  the tree
of the
Cross
raised up
from the
earth
the
weight of
Christ’s
body,


to counterbalance
the weight of the first sin;
Boundless Love,
which has utterly filled
every absence of love
and allowed humanity
to find refuge
once more in the arms
of the Merciful Father.



May Christ lifted high on the Cross draw us too, the men and
women of the new millennium!




In the
shadow
 of the
Cross
let us
 “walk in love, as Christ
loved us and gave
himself up for us,
a fragrant offering
and sacrifice to God”
(Eph 5:2).
 PRAYER
O Christ lifted high,
O Love crucified,


fill our hearts with your love,
that we may see in your Cross
the sign of our redemption
and, drawn by your wounds,
we may live and die with you,
who live and reign
with the Father and the Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.
All:
Our Father ...
Stabat Mater:
Holy Mother,
pierce me through;
in my heart
each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.









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

“Father, forgive them,
 for they know not what they do”
(Lk 23:34).

At the height of his Passion, Christ does not forget man,
especially those who are directly responsible for his suffering.
Jesus knows that more than anything else man needs love;
he needs the mercy which at this moment is being poured out
on the world.
“Truly, I say to

you, today

you will be with

me in Paradise”

(Lk 23:43).
This is how Jesus replies to
the plea of the criminal
hanging on his right:
“Jesus, remember me
when you come
into your
kingdom”
(Lk 23:42).
The promise of a new life.
This is the first fruit of the Passion
and imminent Death of Christ.
A word of hope to man.


At the foot of the Cross stood Mary, and beside her
the disciple, John the Evangelist.  Jesus says:
 
“Woman, behold your son!”
and to the disciple:
“Behold your mother!
Jn 19:26-27
“And from that moment the disciple took her to his own
home” (Jn 19:27).
This is his bequest to those
dearest to his heart.
His legacy to the
Church.

The desire of Jesus as he dies is that

the maternal love of
Mary
should embrace all
those for whom
he is giving his life,
the whole of
humanity.

Immediately after, Jesus cries out:
“I am thirsty”
John 19:28
A word which describes the dreadful
 burning which consumes
 his whole body.
It is the one word which refers
directly to his physical
suffering.
Then Jesus adds:
“My God, my God, why have you
abandoned me?”
(Mt 27:46; cf. Ps 22:2).
These words of the Psalm are his prayer.
Despite their tone, these words reveal
the depths of his union with the Father.
In the last moments of his life on earth,
Jesus thinks of the Father.
From this moment on,
the dialogue will only be between
the dying Son and the Father
who accepts his sacrifice of love.
When the ninth hour comes,
Jesus cries out:
“It is accomplished!” (Jn 19:30).


Now the work of the redemption is complete.
The mission, for which he came on earth,
has reached its goal.
The rest belongs to the Father:
“Father, into
your hands
I commit
my spirit”
Lk 23:46
And having said this, he breathed his last.
“The curtain
 of the
temple
was torn
in two...”
(Mt 27:51).
The “Holy of Holies” of the Jerusalem Temple
is opened at the moment when it is entered
 by the Priest of the New and Eternal Covenant.
PRAYER
Lord Jesus Christ,
in the moment of your agony
you were not indifferent to humanity’s fate,
and with your last breath you entrusted to the Father’s
mercy  the men and women of every age,
with all their weaknesses and sins.
Fill us and the generations yet to come
with your Spirit of love,
so that our indifference will not render vain in us
the fruits of your death.
To you, crucified Jesus,
the wisdom and the power of God,
be honour and glory for ever and ever.
R. Amen.
 All:
Our Father ...
Stabat Mater:
She looked
upon her sweet
Son,
saw him hang
in desolation,
till his spirit
forth he sent.
THIRTEENTH STATION
Jesus is taken down from the Cross
and given to his Mother
 V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti.
In the arms of his Mother
they have placed the
 lifeless body of the Son.
The Gospels say nothing
of what she felt at that moment.
It is as though by their silence the Evangelists
wished to respect her sorrow,
her feelings and her memories.
Or that they simply felt incapable
of expressing them.
It is only the devotion of the centuries that has preserved the figure of the “Pietà”, providing Christian memory with the most sorrowful image of the ineffable bond of love which blossomed in the Mother’s heart on the day of the Annunciation and ripened as she waited for the birth of her divine Son.

That love was revealed in the cave at Bethlehem
and was tested already during the Presentation in the Temple.
It grew deeper as Mary stored and pondered in her heart all that was happening (cf. Lk 2:51).
Now this intimate bond of love must be transformed into a union which transcends the boundary between life and death.
And thus it will be across the span of the centuries:
people pause at Michelangelo’s statue of the Pietà, they
kneel before the image of the loving and sorrowful Mother --
(Smetna Dobrodziejka) in the Church of the Franciscans in
Kraków, before the Mother of the Seven Sorrows, Patroness
of Slovakia -- they venerate Our Lady of Sorrows in countless
shrines in every part of the world.
And so they learn the difficult love which does not flee from suffering, but surrenders trustingly to the tenderness of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Lk 1:37).
PRAYER
Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiæ;
vita dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus...
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exilium ostende.
Implore for us the grace of faith,
hope and charity,
so that we, like you,
may stand without flinching beneath the Cross
until our last breath.
To your Son, Jesus, our Saviour,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
all honour and glory for ever and ever.
 R. Amen.

All:
Our Father . . .
Stabat
         Mater:
Let me mingle tears with you,
mourning     him who       mourned     
for me,       
all the days
that I may live.
 
FOURTEENTH STATION
 Jesus is laid in the tomb
V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
 “He was crucified,
died and was buried...”
The lifeless body of Christ has been laid in the tomb.
But the stone of the tomb is not the final seal on his work.
The last word belongs not to falsehood, hatred and violence.
The last word will be spoken by Love,
which is stronger than death.
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).
The tomb is the last stage of Christ’s dying through the whole course of his earthly life; it is the sign of his supreme sacrifice for us and for our salvation.
Very soon this tomb will become the first proclamation of

praise and exaltation of the Son of God in the glory of the

Father.
“He was crucified, died and was buried,. . . on the third day he rose from the dead”.
Once the lifeless body of Jesus is laid in the tomb, at the foot

of Golgotha, the Church begins the vigil of Holy Saturday.
In the depths of her heart, Mary stores and ponders the Passion of her Son;
the women agree to meet on the morning of the day after the Sabbath, in
order to anoint Christ’s body with aromatic ointments; the disciples gather
in the seclusion of the Upper Room, waiting for the Sabbath to pass.

This vigil will end with the meeting at the tomb,
the empty tomb of the Saviour.


 
Then the tomb, the

silent witness of the

 Resurrection,

will speak.

The stone rolled back,

 the inner chamber

 empty, the cloths on

 the ground,


this will be what John sees when
he comes to the tomb with Peter:
“He saw and he believed”
John 20:8
And with him the Church believed,
and from that moment she never grows weary of
communicating to the world
this fundamental truth of her faith:
“Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those
who have fallen asleep”
1 Cor 15:20
The empty tomb is the sign of the definitive victory
of truth over falsehood,
of good over evil,
of mercy over sin,
of life over death.
The empty tomb is the
sign of the hope which
“does not deceive”
Romans 5:5
“[Our] hope is full of immortality”
(cf. Wis 3:4).
PRAYER


Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit,
you were drawn by the Father
from the darkness of death 
to the light of a new life in glory.
Grant that the sign of the empty tomb
may speak to us and to future
generations and become a wellspring of living faith,
generous love, and unshakeable hope.
To you, O Jesus, whose presence, hidden and victorious,
fills the history of the world,
be honour and glory for ever and ever


R. Amen.
All:
 Our Father . . .
 
Stabat Mater:
 
While my body
here decays,
may my soul your
goodness praise,
safe in paradise
 with you. Amen.
The Holy Father addresses those present.
At the conclusion of his address the Holy Father imparts the
Apostolic Blessing.
V/. The Lord be with you.
R/. And also with you.
 V/. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
R/. Now and forever.
 
V/. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R/. Who made heaven and earth.
V/. May Almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
R/. Amen.
Blessed John Paul II please pray for us
and help us to follow Christ with our own crosses.
Amen.