Feb 18, 2013

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the World

By the Cross her Station keeping
1.Jesus is condemned to death

 2.Jesus carries His cross

 3.Jesus falls the first time

 4.Jesus meets His mother

 5.Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross

 6.Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

 7.Jesus falls the second time

 8.Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

 9.Jesus falls the third time

 10.Jesus is stripped of his garments

 11.Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross

 12.Jesus dies on the cross

 13.Jesus is taken down from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)

 14.Jesus is laid in the tomb.

 Here’s an Audio Version: 

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land centuries ago was far more challenging than it is today. In spite of the “inconvenience” that airports cause for us, the packing, the passports, the arrangements both at home and with loved ones – all that before we even leave the country, there is the deep Christian desire to identify with the life of Jesus.

In centuries past a Christian could only hope that once in their lifetime they may have the privilege to travel to the land where Jesus walked.  In particular, to accompany Our Lord along the Via Dolorosa – the way of sorrow – the path where Jesus was condemned by Pilate, carried his cross in pain and suffering, was crucified on Mt. Calvary, died and was buried.  The great central event of our salvation was more than just a Passion Play. For Christians centuries past and for us today that story is a drama we will relive on Good Friday each year. 

But, what about those who were not able to visit Jerusalem? What sort of path could they walk that would remind them of the same?  Thus is the origin of our “Stations of the Cross” we see displayed on the side interior walls of our Catholic Churches.  In some cases, a beautiful and grander exterior display of the stations is also depicted.  At the famous shrine of Lourdes, France there are life sized bronze depictions of each of the fourteen stations up and down a steep hillside behind the grotto of the apparitions.

No matter how depicted, they all help us to contemplate the passion and death of Jesus so many centuries ago yet still a living memory for all Christian people.  Here in our parish, as in most, each Friday evening during Lent we hold a meatless soup and bread supper followed by the public recitation of the stations of the cross. 

Whether prayed privately as devotion or publicly as a gathering of the people, it is a center focus for Lent and emphasizes the humanity of Christ in all of its overwhelming surrender. 

This Lent, make the stations of the cross part of your prayer life.  If your parish prays the stations during Lent, be sure to attend each Friday evening with your family.  What a wonderful source for family prayer.