Stations of the Cross IX and X – 18th March
We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed
I love you, Lord Jesus, my love, above all things. I repent with my whole heart for having
offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love
you always and then do with me as you will.
IX Jesus falls a third time
We remember the cross of Jesus
Jesus falls for a third time, broken and exhausted physically and emotionally. Lying on the ground, Jesus must decide – does he get up once more or does he just stop and give up? We see him rise again, and with all his power he continues on his journey. Jesus shows us that we can go on, even if nobody else thinks that it is possible. We adore you …
We name the crosses of today: Many in our world today feel that they are at that moment of final falling, that their burden is too much to carry. They cannot bear any more. Crushed by the weight of their cross they feel unable to get up, unable to go on. Some may look for relief in addiction. Some may look to escape through suicide. In Jesus we find our hope and our encouragement. The third fall of Jesus, when he was crushed by suffering and fear, reminds us that even in our moments of complete helplessness or our experiences of depression, we can stand up again. Jesus is with us and Jesus is our strength.
We Pray: Lord, we pray that when our strength fails, when our hope fades and when our spirit grows weary that we will put our unbounded trust in you. In turn may we bring your love, in a word or action of comfort to another, in their moment of meaningless, depression or despair. I love you, Lord Jesus ….
X Jesus is stripped of his garments
We remember the cross of Jesus
Public exposure is a humiliating experience and, when it happens, there is no hiding place. Everything we are and all that we have done are paraded for all to see and people may make what judgements they like. Our fragile defences are destroyed and there is nothing we can say. As the clothes were ripped from Jesus, he was stripped of his dignity in front of an irreverent mob. Jesus sacrifices everything. He holds nothing of himself back. Here, on the threshold of death, even more intensely than during his lifetime, he is a Being-for-others. He surrenders everything in order to ransom all. We adore you …
We name the crosses of today: Jesus continues to be stripped of his dignity in those who have their good name taken from them and the intimate details of their lives exposed through the media. Society takes on the role of judge and jury as we curiously devour the details. Jesus is stripped again when men, women and children are portrayed as objects in a pornographic manner in magazines, DVDs, on television and the internet. But there is another sort of exposure – the look of love. When Jesus looks at us, as he did to Peter when he denied him, we can be sure that look is one of intense love, mingled with sadness but not condemnation.
We Pray: Forgive us Lord for being an irreverent mob prying into people’s lives. Forgive us for being consumers of gossip under the name of ‘news’. Let us never expose anyone. May we respect the dignity of others and leave judgement to God. Let us see the good in those around us and so enable them to reach their full potential. I love you, Lord Jesus…
9. Gill carving, Westminster Cathedral 10. St Mary of All Angels, Bisley