Are terrible people unworthy of love

CROSSWAY

COLOSSEUM

Good Friday, April 21, 2000

MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS
FROM POPE
JOHN PAUL II.
 

OPENING PRAYER

 

The Holy Father:
 
In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

"If you want to be my disciple, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me" (Mt 16,24).

It is good Friday evening.
For two thousand years
the church gathers that evening,
to remember that and bring it back to life
what happened on the last section of the earthly life of the Son of God.
Like every year, so is it today
the church of Rome
at the Colosseum,
to follow the way of Jesus,
who "carried his cross and went out to the so-called skull height,
which is called Golgotha ​​in Hebrew "(Joh 19,17).

We have each other here
found in the conviction that the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross of the Son of God,
not an ordinary walk
to the place of execution.
We believe that every step
every gesture and every word of the condemned
and also everything that those involved in this drama have experienced and done,
speak to us incessantly.
Also in his suffering and death
Christ reveals to us the truth about God and man.

In this anniversary year
let us immerse ourselves particularly deeply in that event
and consider its content,
to give it new strength
speak to our hearts and senses
and to the source of grace
a real concern.

Participation means having a share.
But what does that mean: have a share
on the cross of christ?
It is supposed to say that we are in the Holy Spirit
experience the love that the cross of Christ holds in itself.
It means that we are in the light of this love
recognize one's own cross.
It means we take it on our shoulders
and always go on from the power of this love ...

Go through life
by imitating the one who "took up the cross,
without paying attention to the shame
and sat at the right hand of God's throne "(cf. Hebrew 12,2).

 

Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ,
fill our hearts with the light of your spirit,
so that we can follow you on your last path
and so experience the price of our salvation.
Make us worthy to partake of the fruits
who brought about your suffering, death and resurrection.
You who live and rule for all eternity.
Amen
.

 

FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
(We adore you, Lord Jesus Christ, and praise you.
Because through your holy cross you have redeemed the world.)

"Are you the King of the Jews?" (Joh 18,33).
"My kingship is not of this world. If it were of this world, my people would fight so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But my kingship is not from here" (Joh 18,36).
Pilate continued:
"So you are a king after all?"
Jesus replied:
"You say it, I am a king. I was born for this and came into the world for this, that I testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice".
Pilate replied:
"What is truth?"

The Roman governor considered the interrogation to be over. He went out to the Jews and said to them: "I can find no reason to condemn him" (cf. Joh 18, 3738).

Pilate's drama is hidden in the question: What is truth?
That was not a philosophical question about the essence of truth, but an existential question that his personal relationship to the truth concerned. It was an attempt to escape the voice of conscience that prompted him to see the truth and follow it. The man who is not guided by the truth is even ready to convict an innocent man.
The prosecutors suspect this weakness of Pilate and therefore do not give in. They resolutely demand the crucifixion of the accused. The half measures to which Pilate relies are of little help. The cruel punishment of scourging that he inflicts on the accused is not enough for the accusers. When the governor introduces the scourged Jesus with the crown of thorns on the head of the crowd, he seems to be looking for a word to bow the intransigence of the crowd. He points to Jesus and says: "Ecce homo! See, there is man! ".
But in response the crowd roars: "On the cross with him, on the cross with him!"
Pilate then tries to wriggle out of it: "You take him and crucify him! For I can find no reason to condemn him" (cf. Joh 19,57).

He is more and more convinced that the accused is innocent, but does not manage to acquit him.
The prosecutors use the last argument: "If you release him, you are not a friend of the emperor; everyone who pretends to be a king rebels against the emperor" (Joh 19,12).

That is a clear threat. Pilate, suspecting the danger, finally gives in and passes judgment. However, not without the demonstrative gesture of washing your hands: "I am innocent of this person's blood. That is your business!" (Mt 27,24).

So Jesus was condemned to death on the cross: he, the Son of the living God and Redeemer of the world.

Denial of the truth has caused suffering and death over the centuries.
The price of human hypocrisy must be paid by the innocent.
Half measures are not enough. Washing your hands over it is not enough either.
The responsibility for the blood of the righteous remains.
This is why Christ prayed so fervently for his disciples of all times: Father, "sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth" (Joh 17,17).

PRAYER

Christ, you accept an unjust judgment.
Grant us and all people of our time
the grace of being true to the truth
and not let that be upon us
and on all who come after us
the responsibility
for the suffering of the innocent.
To you, o Jesus, the righteous judge,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Stabat Mater dolorosa,
iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius
.

SECOND STATION

Jesus takes the cross on his shoulders

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

The cross. Tool of a shameful death.
It was not permitted to condemn a Roman citizen to death on the cross: this type of execution was considered too degrading. The moment when Jesus of Nazareth charged himself with the cross in order to carry it up to Golgotha ​​marked a turning point in the history of the cross.
The cross, a sign of a shameful death reserved for members of the lowest class, becomes a key. From now on, with the help of this key, man should unlock the gate that leads to the deepest foundation of God's mystery.
Through Christ, who accepts the cross as an instrument of his alienation, people should know: God is love.

It is a love without limits: God "loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have eternal life" (Joh 3,16).

This truth about God was revealed through the cross.
Couldn't she reveal herself in another way?
Maybe. Yet God chose the cross.
The father chose the cross for his son.
And the son loaded it on his shoulders
carried it up to Golgotha ​​and sacrificed its life for it.
"There is suffering on the cross,
on the cross is salvation,
on the cross, love is given to us as a lesson.

God, whoever understood you
longs for and looks for nothing else "
(Polish passion song).

The cross is a sign of love without limits!

PRAYER

Christ, you take the cross from the hands of men,
to make it a sign
of God's saving love for man.
Grant us and all people of our time
the grace of faith in this infinite love,
so that we can make the sign of the cross
carried over into the new millennium
and so are credible witnesses of salvation.
To you, o Jesus, the priest and sacrifice,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius
.


THIRD STATION

Jesus falls under the cross for the first time

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"God laid upon him the sins of all of us" (cf. Isa 53,6).
"We were all lost like sheep,
each went his own way.
But the Lord invited him
the guilt of all of us "(Isa 53,6).

Jesus falls under the cross. This will happen three times on the relatively short route of the "Via dolorosa".
He collapses from exhaustion. His body is covered in blood from the flagellation, on his head he wears the crown of thorns. All of this makes his strength wane.
So he falls and the heavy cross pushes him to the ground.

We must return to the words of the prophet, who centuries ago foresaw this collapse as if he were looking at the scene with his own eyes: in front of the servant of God who lies on the ground under the weight of the cross, he points out the true cause of his collapse . Look, "God charged the sins of all of us upon him".
The sins have pressed the condemned, who is God's Son, to the ground.
They were decisive for the weight of the cross that he carries on his shoulders.
The sins caused him to fall to the ground.

Christ struggles to get up to continue on his way.
The soldiers escorting him try to urge him on with shouts and blows.
Shortly afterwards the train starts moving again.

Jesus falls and gets up again.
In this way the Redeemer of the world turns wordlessly to all who collapse. He encourages her to get up again.
"He carried our sins with his body on the wood of the cross, that we might be dead for sins and live for righteousness. Through his wounds we are healed" (cf. Petr 2,24)

PRAYER

Christ, you collapse under the weight of our guilt
and straighten yourself up for our justification's sake.
We beg you,
help us
and all who are oppressed by sin,
to get up again
and go on the way.
Give us the power of the spirit,
so that we can bear the cross of our weakness with you.
Jesus, you are struck by the burden of our guilt.
Praise and honor to you forever.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti!

FOURTH STATION

Jesus meets his mother

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. You will conceive a child, you will bear a son; you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. God, the Lord , will give him the throne of his father David. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and his reign will have no end "(Lk 1, 3033).

Maria remembered these words. She often thought of them in the very heart of her heart.
When she met her Son on the Way of the Cross, perhaps these words came to mind. And that with particular urgency.
"He will rule and his rule will never end," said the heavenly messenger.
While she now sees her son, the death row inmate, carrying the cross on which he would die, she could, humanly speaking, ask herself: How are those words supposed to come true? In what way will he rule over the house of David? And how can it be that his rule has no end?
From a human point of view, these questions are understandable.
Mary remembers, however, that when the angel was preaching, she replied: "I am the handmaid of the Lord; it may be done to me as you said it" (Lk 1,38).
Now she realizes that this word should be fulfilled in Word from the cross. As a mother, Maria suffers greatly.

Nevertheless, she answers even now, as she had then answered the Annunciation: "Happen to me as you said it would".
In this way she embraces the cross in a maternal way together with the condemned Son of God.
On the way of the cross, Mary reveals herself as the mother of the world redeemer.

"All of you who are drawn along the way, look and see,
whether a pain is like my pain that was done to me "(Klgl 1,12).
Here the Sorrowful Mother speaks
the maid who is obedient to the bitter end,
the mother of the world's redeemer.

PRAYER

Maria, you are with the son
walked the way of the cross,
your maternal heart torn with pain
but always remembering your fiat (yes words)
and in deep trust that he, for whom nothing is impossible,
would fulfill his promises.
Achieve for us and for the people of future generations
the grace of surrendering to God's love.
Grant that we face suffering, rejection
and the trial, even if it lasts long and is bitter,
never doubt his love.
Jesus your son
be praise and honor forever.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quæ mœrebat et dolebat
pia mater, dum videbat
Nati pœnas incliti.

FIFTH STATION

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross of Jesus

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"They forced a man who had just come from the field, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross" (Mk 15,21).

They forced Simon (cf. Mk 5,21).
The Roman soldiers acted in this way because they feared that the exhausted convict would not be able to carry the cross to Golgotha. Then they could not have carried out the death sentence of the crucifixion on him.
So they looked for a man to help him carry the cross.
Her gaze fell on Simon. It didn't take long to think about it: they forced Simon to put that burden on himself. One can imagine that the man did not want to and resisted. Carrying the cross with a condemned person could be interpreted as a violation of the dignity of a free person.
Reluctantly, though, Simon took the cross to help Jesus.

A passion song says: "Under the weight of the cross, Jesus receives the man from Cyrene". Words that suggest a complete reversal of perspective: The condemned Son of God appears as one who, as it were, "gives the cross as a gift".
Wasn't it he who said: "Anyone who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10,38)?
Simon receives a present.
He is that become "worthy".
What might offend his dignity in the eyes of the crowd, on the other hand, has given him a new dignity in the prospect of redemption. The Son of God made him a partner in his work of salvation in a unique way.

Is Simon aware of this?
The evangelist Mark describes Simon of Cyrene as "the father of Alexander and Rufus" (15:21).
If the sons of Simon of Cyrene were known in the early Christian community, one can probably assume that Simon himself also found faith in Christ when he carried the cross.Voluntarily he came to availability from compulsion, inwardly, as it were, caught up with the words: "Whoever does not carry his cross with me is not worthy of me".

When he carried the cross he was introduced to the knowledge of the gospel of the cross.

Since then, this Gospel has spoken to so many, indeed innumerable "Cyrsians" who were called in the course of history to carry the cross with Jesus.

PRAYER

Christ, you have given to Simon of Cyrene
to have the dignity to bear your cross.
Accept us under his burden,
take in all people
and give everyone the grace of availability.
Let's not take our eyes off those
who are depressed by the cross of sickness,
loneliness, hunger and injustice.
Let us bear each other's burdens
and thus become witnesses of the gospel of the cross,
Witness for you who live and rule for eternity.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

SIXTH STATION

Veronica dries the face of Jesus

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Veronica does not appear in the Gospels. Her name is not mentioned, although it does mention the names of different women who accompany Jesus.
So it may be that the name is more an expression of what the woman has done. According to tradition, a woman actually made her way through the escort of the soldiers on the road to Golgotha ​​and dried the sweat and blood on the face of the Lord with a cloth. That face has remained imprinted on the cloth; a true copy of a "true icon"The name Veronika (vera icona) could be associated with this.
If so, then this includes the name that makes the act performed by this woman memorable the deepest truth about them.
When Jesus once aroused the displeasure of those present, he defended a sinner who had poured fragrant oil on his feet and dried them with her hair. In response to the objection that was raised, he said: "Why don't you leave the woman alone? She has done a good work for me [...]. When she poured the oil over me, she has my body for that Burial anointed "(Mt 26, 10.12). These words could also be applied to Veronica.

This reveals the deep meaning of what happened.
The savior of the world gives Veronica a real image of his face.

The cloth on which the face of Christ is depicted becomes a message for us.
It could be something like: "Every good deed, every act of genuine charity strengthens the resemblance to the Redeemer of the world".

Acts of love do not perish. Every gesture of kindness, understanding and service leaves an indelible mark in the heart of man that makes him a little more like the one who "emptied himself and became like a slave" (Phil 2,7).

So takes the identity of man, his real name Shape.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taken the unselfish token of a woman's love.
At the same time you caused it
that the following generations
remember them with the name of your image.
Grant that ours and the works
all those who will come after us
make us look like you
and the mirror image of the world
your infinite love.
To you, O Jesus, the reflection of the glory of the Father,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quis non posset contristari,
piam matrem contemplari,
dolentem cum filio?

SEVENTH STATION

Jesus falls under the cross for the second time

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"But I am a worm and not a person who scoffs at people and despises them" (Ps 22,7).
These words of the Psalm come to our minds at the sight of Jesus who collapses for the second time under the cross.

The condemned man is now lying in the dust on the ground. Depressed by the weight of his cross.
The forces leave him more and more. Nevertheless, he struggles to get up to continue on his way.

What does this second breakdown want to tell us sinful people? Even more than the first time, it seems to encourage us to stand up again, to stand up once more on our way of the cross.

Cyprian Norwid wrote: "Do not go after yourself with the cross of the Savior,
but behind the Savior with his own cross ". It is an extremely short word with a powerful message. It explains why Christianity is the religion of the cross.

It gives us to understand that everyone here on earth encounters Christ who carries the cross and collapses under it.
Christ, for his part, meets everyone on the way to Golgotha; and even when he falls under the weight of the cross, he does not cease to preach the good news.

For two thousand years the gospel has spoken of the cross to people.
For two millennia, Christ, who fell and rose again, has met the person who falls.

Over the course of these two thousand years, many have learned that falling is not the end of the road.
When they met the Savior, they heard his promise: "My grace is enough for you; for it shows its strength in weakness" (Ex Cor 12,9).
They rose again comforted and passed on the word of the hope that comes from the cross to the world.
After we have crossed the threshold of the new millennium, it is important today to deepen the content of this encounter.
Our generation must pass on the good news to the centuries to come that we can rise again in Christ.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
you collapse under the burden of man's sin
and straighten up again to take it upon you and erase it.
Give us weak people
the strength to carry the everyday cross
And straighten us up from our breakdowns
to pass on to future generations
to share the gospel of your saving power.
To you, o Jesus, the hold in our weakness,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Pro peccatis suæ gentis,
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.

EIGHTH STATION

Jesus admonishes the women of Jerusalem

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"You women of Jerusalem, weep not for me;
weep for you and your children!
Because there are days when one will say:
Happy women who are sterile
who did not give birth or breastfeed.
Then one will say to the mountains:
Fall on us !, and to the hills: cover us!
Because when that happens to the green wood
what will become of the dry one then? "(Lk 23, 2831).

These are the words of Jesus to the women of Jerusalem who, weeping, expressed their compassion for the condemned.

"Do not weep for me; weep for you and your children". The meaning of these words was certainly difficult to understand at the time. They contained a prophecy that was soon to be fulfilled.
Shortly before, Jesus wept over Jerusalem when he announced the terrible fate that was to befall the city.
Now he seems to tie in with that prediction: "Weep for your children ...".

Weeps because she - of all people! - Witness and participate in the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem has "the time of grace not recognized" (see. Lk 19,44).

If we follow Christ on his way of the cross and compassion stirs in our hearts for his suffering, then we must not forget that admonition.
"If that happens to the green wood, what will become of the dry wood?"
For our generation, which has left a millennium behind, the point is not so much to weep over the tortured Christ as to recognize: Now is the time of grace.
The dawn of the resurrection is already approaching.
"Now it is here, the time of grace; now it is here, the day of salvation" (Ex Cor 6,2).

The Lord addresses the words of Revelation to each of us: "I stand at the door and knock. Whoever hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter and we will have a meal, I with him and he with me me. Whoever wins may sit on my throne with me, just as I have won and sat on his throne with my father "(Rev. 3,2021).

PRAYER

Christ you came into this world
to stop at all who expect salvation.
Leave our generation
recognize the time of grace
and partake in the fruits of your redemption.
Don't let anyone get over us
and about the people of the new century
must cry because we
have rejected the hand of the merciful Father.
To you, O Jesus, who were born of the virgin and daughter of Zion,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati
pœnas mecum divide.


NINTH STATION

Jesus falls under the cross for the third time

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Christ fell to the ground again under the weight of the cross. The crowd watches curiously to see whether he still has the strength to get up again.

St. Paul writes: "He was equal to God, but did not cling to being like God, but emptied himself and became like a slave and like men. His life was that of a man; he humbled himself and was obedient until death Cross "(Phil 2,68).
When Jesus falls the third time, it seems that this is exactly what is being expressed:
the alienation, the kenosis of the Son of God,
the humiliation under the cross.
Jesus had just said to the disciples that he did not come to be served, but to serve (cf. Mt 20,28).

When he bent down in the Upper Room and washed their feet, he wanted them as it were get used to his humiliation.
When he fell for the third time on the Way of the Cross, he calls out his secret to us in a loud voice.
Let's listen to his voice!
This condemned man, who is now lying on the ground near the place of execution under the weight of the cross, tells us: "I am the way, the truth and the life" (Joh 14.6). "Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (Joh 8,12).

The sight of a condemned man collapsing under the cross, exhausted, should not fill us with horror.
This outward sign that death is approaching harbors the light of life.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
by your humiliation under the cross
you revealed to the world the price of its salvation.
Give to the people of the third millennium
the light of faith
so that they may recognize in you the suffering servant of God and of man
and have the courage to set off as well
of the cross and alienation,
To get the life that has no end.
To you, o Jesus, the support of our weakness,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Eia, Mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.

TENTH STATION

Jesus is stripped of his clothes
and soaked in vinegar and gall

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"When he had tasted it, he did not want to drink" (Mt 27,34).
He did not want any narcotics that would cloud his consciousness during the agony.
He wanted consciously endure his agony on the cross and so fulfill the commission he had received from his father.

This was in contrast to the methods commonly used by the executioners. While nailing the condemned man to the cross, they tried to numb his sensibility and consciousness.
In the case of Christ, this could not work. Jesus knows that his death on the cross should be an atonement.
That is why he wants to remain awake until the end.
Without consciousness he could not be in complete freedom accept the full extent of suffering.

He must mount the cross to offer the new covenant sacrifice.

He is a priest. He must enter the eternal home through his own blood after having achieved the redemption of the world (cf. Hebrew 9,12).

Consciousness and Freedom: these are the indispensable attributes of an action that is fully human.

The world knows many means of weakening the will and restricting consciousness.
Consciousness and freedom must be defended against all forms of violence.
Even legitimate efforts to alleviate pain must always be made with respect for human dignity.

It is important to understand Christ's sacrifice in all its depth, to join him in order not to give in, in order not to allow life and death to lose their value.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
you have given yourself completely
and the death on the cross
accepted for the sake of our salvation.
Leave us and all people in the world
share in your sacrifice on the cross,
thus our lives and actions
the form of free and conscious participation
accept your work of salvation.
To you, o Jesus, the priest and sacrifice,
be honor and praise forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum,
ut sibi complaceam.


Eleventh Station

Jesus is nailed to the cross

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"They pierce my hands and feet. You can count all my bones" (Ps 22, 1718).
The words of the prophet come true.
The execution begins.
The beatings of the torturers press the hands and feet of the condemned against the wood of the cross.
The nails are brutally driven into the wrist. Those nails will keep the condemned hanging amid the unspeakable agony of agony.
Christ suffers unspeakably in his body and in his soul, which is so sensitive.

With him, two actual criminals are crucified, one on his right and the other on his left. This fulfills the prophecy: "He let himself be counted among the criminals" (Isa 53,12).

When the torturers raise the cross, the agony begins, which will last three hours. This word must also be fulfilled: "When I am exalted above the earth, I will draw everyone to me" (Joh 12,32).

What is "attractive" about this condemned man in agony on the cross?
The image of such severe suffering is sure to inspire pity. But compassion is not enough to make us bind our lives to those who are on the cross.

How can it be explained that, generation after generation, this horrific sight has drawn countless crowds of people who have made the cross a mark of their faith?
Men and women who have lived and surrendered their lives with a view to this sign for centuries?

Christ draws her down from the cross with the Power of love at,
divine love, which has not withdrawn from total self-giving;
the infinite love which, at the trunk of the cross, lifted the burden of the body of Christ over the earth to balance the burden of the old guilt;
unlimited love, which filled every lack of love and made man find refuge anew in the arms of the merciful Father.

Christ, exalted on the cross, also draw us, men and women of the new millennium, to you!
In the shadow of the cross "we walk in love because Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us as a gift and as a sacrifice that pleases God" (cf. Eph 5,2).

PRAYER

Exalted Christ,
crucified love,
fill our hearts with your love
so that we are in your cross
recognize the mark of our salvation
and drawn to your wounds
live and die with you.
Who you with the Father and the Holy Spirit
live and rule today and forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
Crucifixi fige plagas,
cordi meo valid.


TWELFTH STATION

Jesus dies on the cross

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"Father, forgive them because they don't know what they are doing" (Lk 23,34).
At the height of his suffering, Christ does not forget man; above all he does not forget those who are the cause of his suffering. He knows that man needs love more than anything; that he needs the mercy that is spreading over the world at this moment.

"Amen, I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise" (Lk 23,43).
So Jesus answers the request of the criminal hanging on his right: "Jesus, think of me when you come into your kingdom" (Lk 23,42).
The promise of a new life. This is the first fruit of Christ's suffering and imminent death. A word of hope to the people.

His mother stood at the foot of the cross, and beside her the disciple, John the Evangelist. Jesus says: "Woman, behold your son!", And to the disciple: "Behold your mother" (Joh 19,26f).

"And from that hour on the disciple took her to him" (Joh 19,27).
This is his will to those closest to his heart.
The will for the church.
The dying Jesus wants Mary's maternal love to embrace all for whom he gives his life. It is all of humanity.

Then Jesus calls: "I am thirsty" (Joh 19.28). This word suggests the terrible thirst that is burning out his whole body.
This word is the only direct expression of his physical suffering.

Then Jesus adds, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Mt 27.46; see. Ps 22.2). Jesus prays with words from the Psalm. Despite its keynote, this sentence underlines the deep union of Jesus with the Father.
In the last moments of his earthly life, Jesus turns to the Father. Now the dialogue should only take place between the dying son and the father who accepts his love sacrifice.

When the ninth hour came, Jesus called out loudly: "It is finished!" (Joh 19,30).
The work of redemption, it is done with it.
The mission for which he came to earth has achieved its goal.

Everything else falls to the father:
"Father, I put my spirit in your hands" (Lk 23.46).
After these words he passed away.
"The curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Mt 27,51).
The "Holy of Holies" in the Temple of Jerusalem will be opened the moment the priest of the New and Eternal Covenant enters there.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are in the hour of agony
did not remain indifferent to the fate of man
and have at the same time with your last breath
the men and women of all time
with their weaknesses and sins
lovingly entrusted to the mercy of the Father.
Fill us and future generations
with your spirit of love
thus our indifference
do not destroy the fruits in us,
that produced your death.
To you, crucified Lord Jesus Christ, God's power and wisdom,
be honor and praise forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum
morientem desolatum
dum emisit spiritum.


THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the cross and given to his mother

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti.

They put the son's body back in the mother's hands. The gospels do not talk about what she felt at that moment.
It is as if the evangelists wanted to respect the mother's pain, feelings and memories through silence. Or as if they found themselves unable to express these feelings.
Centuries-old veneration alone was able to preserve the image of the "Pietà". Thus the most painful expression for that ineffable has been found in the memory of the Christian people Love bond imprinted in the heart of the mother on the day of the Annunciation and matured in anticipation of the birth of the divine Son.

That love was revealed in the grotto of Bethlehem,
It was already put to the test when it was presented in the temple;
it deepened in the face of the events that Mary kept and considered in her heart (cf. Lk 2,51).
Now this intimate love bond has to be transformed into a bond that overcomes the boundaries of life and death.

This is how it will be through the centuries:
people pause in front of the statue of Michelangelo's Pietà; they bend their knees in front of the image of Our Lady of Charity (Smetna Dobrodziejka) in the Franciscan Church in Krakow, in front of the Mother of Seven Sorrows, the Patroness of Slovakia,
they venerate the Addolorata, the Mother of Sorrows, in innumerable shrines all over the world.
So get to know the demanding lovewho does not flee from suffering, but confidently surrenders to the tenderness of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Lk 1, 37).

PRAYER

Salve, Regina, Mater misericordiae;
vita dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus ...

Illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte
et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post exilium ostende.

Obtain for us the grace of faith, hope and love,
so that we too, like you,
to be able to remain faithful under the cross
Until the last breath.
To your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Redeemer,
be with the Father and the Holy Spirit
Praise and honor forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.

FOURTEENTH STATION

The body of Jesus is placed in the grave

Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

"Crucified, died and buried ...".
The body of Christ was placed in the tomb. The stone in front of the grave does not, of course, signify the final seal of his work.
The last word does not belong to lies, hatred and oppression.
The last word will speak love that is stronger than death.

"If the grain of wheat does not fall into the ground and die, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears abundant fruit" (Joh 12,24).
The grave is the last station of Christ's death in the course of his entire earthly life; the mark of his highest sacrifice for us for our salvation.

Soon this grave will be used first proclamation of praise to the Son of God in the glory of the Father become.
"Crucified, died and buried [...], risen from the dead on the third day".
With the burial of Jesus' body at the foot of the hill Golgotha, the church begins the vigil on Holy Saturday.
Mary keeps the Son's suffering in her heart and ponders it;
the women arrange to meet in the morning of the next day to anoint the body of Christ with fragrant oils;
the disciples remain in secrecy in the Upper Room until the Sabbath has passed.

This vigil will end with the encounter at the tomb, the empty tomb of the Savior.
Now the tomb will speak as a silent witness of the resurrection.
The stone rolled away, the emptiness inside, the linen bandages on the ground,
John will see this when he comes to the tomb with Peter:
"He saw and believed" (Joh 20,8).
And with him the Church believed
who from that moment never tires of proclaiming this fundamental truth of her faith to the world:
"Christ was raised from the dead as the first of those who fell asleep Cor 15,20).

The empty grave is Signs of final victory
the truth about the lie,
good over evil,
of mercy over sin,
of life over death.
The empty grave is Sign of hopethat "does not perish" (Rom 5,5).
"Our hope is entirely directed towards immortality" (cf. Know 3,4).

PRAYER

Lord Jesus Christ,
you are of the Father by virtue of the Holy Spirit
from the darkness of death
been led to the light of a new life in glory.
Leave the sign of the empty grave
speak to us and to future generations
and a source of living faith,
generous love
and become unshakable hope.
To you, O Jesus, hidden and victorious presence in world history,
be praise and honor forever.
Amen
.

All:
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur noun tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Quando corpus morietur
fac ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.


The Holy Father addresses those present.
After his address, he gives the Apostolic Blessing:


V. Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. Sit nomen Domini Benedictum.
R. Ex hoc nunc et usque in sæculum.

V. Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini.
R. Qui fecit cælum et terram.

V. Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus,
Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.

R. Amen.

       

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