Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world!

Seventh Station:  Jesus falls for the second time

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah (53:5):  He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed.

Jesus falls again. Crushed but not killed by the weight of the cross.  Once again he bares his humanity.  It is an experience of the limits of powerlessness, of shame in front of those mocking him, of humiliation before those who had hoped in him.  No one ever wants to fall and experience failure, especially in front of other people.

People often rebel against the idea of having no power, of being unable to move ahead in life.  Jesus, instead, embodies the “power of the powerless”.  He experiences the torment of the cross and the salvific power of faith.  Only God can save us.  Only he can transform a sign of death into a glorious cross.

If Jesus has fallen to the ground a second time by the weight of our sin, then we must also accept our falls, that we have fallen in the past, and that we are capable of falling again by our sins.  Let us recognize our inability to save ourselves by our own strength. 

Lord Jesus, who accepted the humiliation of falling again as everyone looked on, we would like not only to contemplate you lying in the dust, but to do so from where we ourselves have fallen due to weaknesses. Make us aware of our sins, and give us the will, born of pain, to get up again. Bestow upon your whole Church the awareness of suffering. Offer especially to your ministers of Reconciliation the gift of tears for their own sins. How can they beseech your mercy for themselves and others if they do not first know how to mourn their own faults?

~taken from "God Is Mercy," meditations written by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia for the Way of the Cross led by Pope Francis at the Colosseum in Rome on Good Friday, March 25, 2016

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