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Way Of The Cross

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  • 1. WAY OF THE CROSS Introduction: The road to Calvary stretches long and lonely before Jesus. Along this path there are loads of barriers that will prevent him from continuing. He could turn back. But he knew that for him there must be no return. He must do his fathers will whole-heartedly. Is there no one to share his pain? Not even you. Yes Lord while we trace this path of sighs and tears, touch our hearts so that we will repent and thereafter readily embrace with joy all the crosses, sufferings and humiliations of our pilgrim lives here on earth. Today, we take a different look at the reality of Jesus' death. We take this different look so that we see the people who we really are- the Pilates' among us, the Pharisees and the Scribes in us and the Veronicas who we must emulate. The day of Jesus' crucifixion has come and gone. Time has passed on and people have begun to live their lives as if nothing had happened. till the day their lives were no more. And the day of judgement arrived. Sitting at the gates of heaven, in a multitude of people, are those who condemned him and those who supported him. Awaiting their Lord’s arrival.. lt is JUDGMENT DAY!!!
  • 2. The First Station: Jesus is brought before Pilate We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: Jesus was walking by the doors of heaven when he fell upon the cries of the man who had condemned him -Pontius Pilate. Pilate immediately recognising Jesus, felt to his feet saying Pilate: Jesus, Son of God, have pity on me Narrator: Jesus heard his pleas and coming to his side, lifted him up and said Jesus: Pilate, what can I do for you? Narrator: Pilate had deliberated over the deeds of his life and felt regret Pilate: Master, if only I had known, then... Narrator: Jesus broke his statement and said Jesus: I came to do my Father's will. But tell me what made you do what you did? Narrator: Pilate replied Pilate: Jesus, I never could find any fault in you. But at that time, I had no option. I was afraid that if I went against the wishes of the crowd, they would do away with me. Narrator: Jesus smiled and replied to him Jesus: What does it profit a man that he gains the entire world, but loses his soul…. REFLECTION: Today Jesus asks us the very same question "What does it profit a man that he gains the entire world, but loses his soul?. Let us look deep into ourselves and see the Pilate in us, afraid..... afraid of standing up against the crowd, for what .is right ....afraid of following Jesus' example of supporting the cause of truth and justice .What answer do we have to give to Jesus at our judgement day?.....Are we going to be like Pilate and hide behind a curtain of shame and regret at our judgement day or are we going to change our lives from today and shine in the light of the Risen Lord.? Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 3. The Second Station: Jesus is given his cross We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: No sooner did Jesus leave Pilate than he came across the very people who had planned his death- his Jewish brethren. The Pharisees and the Scribes. They stood in silent shame, knowing nothing could be said or done to justify their deeds. But Jesus, in his infinite mercy noticed them and said: Jesus: You needed my blood to quench your never-ending thirst for power. Your thoughts blinded your eyes to that which is right. It is pityful that you let your greed, your jealousy, your envy overpower you. Remember my words- For those who want to be leaders must first l earn to serve. REFLECTION: In life, there have been numerous occasions when we have taken up the roles of the Pharisees and the Scribes. We feel threatened and are afraid of losing number one position and so we block others from being in the limelight, and so instead of working together for Jesus’ way of life, we feed our insecurity by abusing our powers by various ways. Today Jesus calls ME to find myself, to find the purpose in my creation and to be confident about who I am ? Today Jesus calls us to be leaders in God’s kingdom by being servants here on earth. How ready are we ? Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 4. The Third Station: Jesus falls the first time We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: As Jesus continued his walk; he grew pensive about the day of his death. He remembered feeling the weight of the cross on his shoulders, overpowering his human capacities. He remembered falling to the ground - the crowd in the background denouncing him with chants and spittle. He recalls the pain, the hope and the desire for it all to just go away but then he rises to the occasion. He picked up his cross and moved on saying to himself "0 father, let thy will be done" REFLECTION: Jesus showed his human side, when his physical strength broke down. a fact we face everyday in our daily lives-which seems to be at times overbearing that we just want to give up hope. But do we give up?...or do we follow Jesus' example in taking strength from prayer. Today, let us commit ourselves that no matter what the obstacle, no matter what the setback, we will use the power of prayer to inspire us and go on facing life. Knowing that "the father's will" must be done. Remember that Jesus' life and death is ah example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 5. The Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: Jesus' thoughts were broken when he noticed his mother calling out to him. Even now, long after his death, Jesus sees in her, the motherly love ever so strongly. He tells her Jesus: Mother, I thank you for all the pains you took in bearing me, in enriching me as I grew up , in letting go of me as I became independent but most of all , I am grateful to u for being there every step of the way, even at my death. Narrator: The mention of his death drew strong emotion from his mother and she could not hold back her tears. The pain and the sadness were plain to the eye, as her eyes glistened with emotion. Jesus hugged her close, bearing life testimony to the commandment "Honor your father and mother" REFLECTION: Mother Mary was always there for Jesus; right from the time the angel came to her till his death on the cross. Here now we remember our dear parents, teachers, formators, superiors and elders who are responsible for our growth and development. They are to us a special gift of God in our long journey to priestly ministry, We thank God for their sacrificial love and concern towards us. We remember all those who lack the motherly care and love, and also those parents who are neglected by their children. Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 6. The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: As Jesus moved on, he noticed a man helping another towards the gates of heaven. On coming nearer, Jesus recognized him to be none other than Simon of Cyrene- the same man who had helped him carry his cross. Jesus acknowledged his kindness and thanked him Jesus: Thank you Simon for helping me carry my cross. You enabled me to complete my purpose and fulfill my father's will Simon of Cyrene: It was my pleasure, my Lord, but I have to make a confession. At first, when the guards picked me to carry your cross, all I could think was "why me?' But later on, I realised that I was helping you complete your mission and that I was privileged to do so. Jesus: Truly, you are the Good Samaritan?. REFLECTION: Many a time in life, we find ourselves .in situations where we can help someone in need, where we can contribute to a mission ,be it at church, through some form of work in any organisaition or any other social cause, but for which we have to go .out of our way and make some sacrifice. What choice do we make then? Are we good Samaritans like Simon of Cyrene, and help Jesus in his mission or do we make petty excuses of having no time and other commitments. What excuse are we going to make to Jesus on judgement day?... Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 7. The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: It was nearing lunch time and Jesus stopped for a break, he noticed a woman at an adjoining table smiling at him. Jesus moved towards her and said Jesus: I remember you. Seeing my swollen eyes, bruised face and tangled hair, most of my friends had ran away but that did not stop you. Thank you for your support!! Narrator: She introduces herself as Veronica and said Veronica:I only did what I felt was right. Jesus: Truly , I say to you, Happy are those who have the courage you have to do right REFLECTION: It took Veronica-a woman in a male dominated society to step up and do what she thought was right. Women in Indian society have traditionally been considered to be weaker and inferior. The rise in position.. Rape., female e4rifantici.de and an endless list of crimes against the girl child, bears witness to .the- atrocities committed. Today, we are called to ponder and to see if we are a cause for this opinion. Have we ever not treated the girl child equally? Isn't it time we take inspiration from the Veronica so that we may also have the courage to do right, to do what is just and humane. Remember that Jesus' life and death is an, example for us to follow Have mercy-on us O lord, have mercy on us
  • 8. The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: As Jesus was about to leave, he heard a stranger beckon him. The man said Stranger: Jesus of Nazareth, I was there, I was one of them I heard them shouting for your blood. I knew what they did was wrong but.... I wanted to lift you up and possibly give you some water. But something kept me back?.... what would the crowds say?....what would they do to me?...what would become of my family?....So I joined them ..I became one of them.. .I shouted for you to die. . But inside I died of guilt! ..please forgive me. Jesus felt pity for the man and said to him Jesus: Your repentance has saved you. Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor for theirs is the Kingdom of God. REFLECTION: The innocent suffering under the weight of the cross is a momentary affliction “preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all means. (2Cor4/17). Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 9. The Eighth Station: Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: Jesus walked on till he came to a park where he heard the sounds of women laughing and children playing. The women recognised Jesus as the one they had wept for and one of them said to him Woman: Lord, I am sorry for what happened to you. I knew it was wrong but all I could do to show my concern was to shed my tears. I hope they reduced the pain of your sacrifice. Jesus: Your tears have opened the door of change for you and so , the pain I have suffered has got its ransom. Happy are those who mourn, God will comfort them. REFLECTION: Self-realization is the first step of change and change is what is expected of us during the season of Lent. So let us spend time and. think whether we have truly-understood the purpose of Jesus suffering and death and its, relation with our lives. Jesus stood for the good, for the truth. for justice and all that we perceive as right, ....he died because his sacrifice would help us in our journey of self-realization and in understanding how we can make a difference to others....The women of Jerusalem paid ransom to: Jesus’ death by changing…will we be able to pay that same ransom?..... Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 10. The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: Jesus noticed Peter deep in thought and so he inquired saying. Jesus: Peter, what troubles you? Narrator: Peter replied. Peter: I am sorry that I was not there for you in your time of trouble and that you could not count on me. You were always there for me, never once did u leave me.....and I am sorry........ Narrator: Peter knew that no words could make do for what had happened Jesus: Your humility in accepting your fault has saved you...happy are those who are humble, for they shall receive what God has promised!! REFLECTION: All of us are human beings and to falter is natural......but to accept your fault –to realise, is the first step to change and redemption. What prevents us from accepting our faults?.... Is it our pride that we cant ever do wrong...is it our fear of what will people say? .... ls it the ego inside us that prevents us from being humble enough to say Yes, I am wrong........and I will work towards changing myself.......today we have a choice, to be proud and stay as we are or to be humble ..accept our mistakes- and just as the beatitude says to receive what God has promised Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 11. The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: As Jesus and Peter were talking, a man dressed up in a soldier's uniform came to Jesus knelt before him and with his head down said Soldier: Lord, I was one of them who disgraced you publicly by stripping you naked and by spitting on your face and to scorn you even more we cast lots to divide your clothing. My God, I have no excuse but to say I took advantage of the power that was given to me Rather than using it for what is right, I abused it for self-pleasures and riches. Have mercy on me.... REFLECTION: The greed for power and its misuse is the root to all sin. And so Lord here we make our humble plea to help us to strip ourselves of all the thoughts and desires of our own self- glory, fame and power. This will only keep us ready for our own judgement. Remember that Christ: life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 12. The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: After a long day's walk, Jesus was tired and so he sat down in the shade of a nearby tree, relaxed and continued to think. As he looked at his hands, he noticed the holes in his hand that the nails had made and the memories seemed to be as clear as day. He felt the pain with each hit of the nail, the taunts of the people shouting, "Hail, King of the Jews". He closed his eyes and said to his father Jesus: Father, I thank you for being there with me every step of the way and for giving me the strength to complete the mission you had set for me. I know that if it wasn't for You, I would have never been able to achieve what I did. Help everyone to realise that You are always there, no matter what. REFLECTION: God is always there and he is always calling out for us….but are we listening...He has left the door half open for us...."..all we have to do is to take the first step and push the door open. He wants us to realise the depth of love he has for us, But have we?.. have we fathomed the infinite power of God's "healing touch… the strength to transform ourselves completely. Let us pray that in all times of trials and tribulations, we will believe that God is there and that he will give us the strength to get through it. Remember that Jesus life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 13. The Twelvth Station: Jesus dies on the cross We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world . Narrator: As Jesus continued to think, he noticed a child picking up flowers in the vicinity. The child seemed so engrossed in his work, so oblivious to the surroundings...to the fact that it was Judgement Day!!. Jesus called out to him and said Jesus: Child, come here...what is your name and for whom are you collecting these flowers? Narrator: The child introduced himself as Michael Michael: Sir, my mother told me that today a great man had died for all of us and since he was so important, I am collecting these flowers to place on his grave. But tell me sir, why would anyone die for someone else? Narrator: The child's words brought tears to Jesus' eyes and he replied Jesus: Because I Love you!!! REFLECTION: The greatest sacrifice a man can make is to lay down his life for someone else. Jesus did that for us.. Jesus truly loved us...-but how many of us have taken heed of that??.. Have I taken the trouble to find out.. what he stood for and why did he die for me? He came to earth and died to teach us what comes above all things.....LOVE... On our Judgment day, will be able to wipe away Jesus' tears and tell him we love him?... Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for us to follow Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 14. The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator:As Jesus walked Michael back home, he sees Michael run back right into the arms of his mother. He wondered what his Mother Mary had felt when they took him down from the cross .the pain...the anguish.... the helpnesses, seeing her son's lifeless body In her arms..... Knowing that her son had died right before her eyes and all that she could do is trust in God's will , knowing that he knows best. Jesus: Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires, God will satisfy them fully. REFLECTION: Life is a complicated and tough challenge to face and many times we do not understand why things happen the way they do. Today, we are called to follow Mother Mary's example of trusting God , believing that he wants the best for all of us. We humans, like to feel superior .by being in control, but it is time to realise that our true purpose, is in letting go, like Mary, and working towards fulfilling our creator’s will. Are we ready to do what God requires'? Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for: us to follow • Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 15. The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb We adore thee 0 Christ and we bless thee Because by the holy cross thou has redeemed the world. Narrator: Jesus had walked and thought the entire day and now it was time to rest. As he closed his eyes, he pictured himself lying in the tomb, prepared for him by a stranger Joseph of Arimathea. He recalled the care and concern shown by Mary Magdalene in preparing spices...and as he dozed off, he smiled.... because.... there was still hope for mankind… His thoughts echoed, " I still believe in the goodness of man" REFLECTION: This .way of the cross is a reminder that we have to follow the example set by Jesus, in order to shine with him on judgment day… and yes, it is possible… and why do I say that?.... I say it.. because Jesus himself says it......'" I still believe in the goodness " of man" .So let us take up the responsibility and realise that we are all created with one purpose -to spread the Good News by living God's message, the very same message that his holy messenger Jesus died for. Jesus met his challenge... the challenge you and I face in our daily lives today...... are we ready to face it, like him? Remember that Jesus' life and death is an example for: us to follow • Have mercy on us 0 Lord, have mercy on us.
  • 16. Concluding Prayer: Heavenly Father, we have contemplated on the passion of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, help us not to be harsh like Pilate who disgracefully condemned you to death, like the soldiers who out of greed spat, mocked and above all stripped you off your garments and exposed you to the vulgar gaze of the scoffing multitude or like your disciples who deserted you when you were in need, but rather let us be tike your mother who was so patient towards the brutal soldiery, Simon who willingly lent a helping hand, Veronica who refreshed you by wiping your face with her damp handkerchief and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who brought you down from the cross and laid you in a new tomb where no one had ever been buried. Amen

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