Stations of the Cross XIII and XIV – 26th 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.
XIII Jesus is taken down
We remember the cross of Jesus
Mary, entrusted with the infant church by Jesus as he died and named as mother of the Body of Christ, now receives his broken, physical body into her arms with immense tenderness and reverence. In her grief, she remembers the words of her son, over the bread, ‘This is my body, broken, for you,’ and over the wine, ‘This is my blood poured out for you.’ She remembers that little baby in Bethlehem worshipped by shepherds and kings. She remembers the days when the crowds followed him, and she is full of sorrow. We adore you, O Christ …
We name the crosses of today: Mary’s grief is our grief too. As she cradles the lifeless body of her son and offers him back to the Father, she stands with all parents who have held their children close to them in death: those lost through accidents or acts of violence, those who have died by suicide, those who died suddenly or after illness. Mary grieves with all who sorrow for loved ones: parents, siblings, family members, friends.
We Pray: Help us Lord to accept the partings that must come. Help us to offer our loved ones back to you. Faced with the silence of death, let us not despair but find hope. May the finality of death not oppress us. Help us to trust in you, the Lord of the living and the dead. Mary, pray for us that we may have life and have it to the full. I love you, Lord Jesus ….
XIV Jesus is laid in the tomb
We remember the cross of Jesus
The one who in life had nowhere to lay his head, a man noted for his poverty and simplicity, now finds himself buried with the rich and the privileged. But it was only a borrowed tomb for he would not lay there long. All those who had loved him felt emptied and exhausted. There seemed no longer any sense or purpose in anything. But at least no more harm could come to him. They closed the tomb and left. That night his body lay like a seed in the dark earth of the world. We adore you you, O Christ …
We name the crosses of today: There are times when we are overcome by the countless deaths that we experience each day, but the answer to all our grieving and despair lies in this place. All we can do is bury our fears, our sins, our failures and our weaknesses in the tomb where he lay. When these things are buried with Christ, that is where we should leave them. The grain of wheat sown in darkness and in death will yield a rich harvest - for he will rise - and the new life of Easter will flow into our veins. We are transfigured and saved. Jesus’ death was not in vain.
We Pray: Jesus, each day you put before us life or death. Help us always to choose life. We pray for all those we have known who have died, and for those who have no one to pray for them. We ask for the gift of faith when we are faced with the darkness of the tomb and our own death approaches. May we have eyes to see the promise of new life in every darkness. I love you, Lord Jesus…
13. St Mary of All Angels, Bisley. 14. Mark de Vries, Netherlands