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Monday, March 14, 2011

Via Dolorosa 1/14...Jesus Is Condemned To Death

We journey, this Lent, with Jesus, Who “went out, carrying His cross, to the place called the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha” (John 19:17).  I pray that every step of this journey via Dolorosa will speak to your heart.

“Adoramus te, christe, et benedicimus tibi, quia per crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

We adore Thee O Christ, and we praise Thee - Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.”

– The Testament of St. Francis of Assisi – 1182 - 1226

Scriptural Reading:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NAB)

“Though he was harshly treated, he submitted and opened not his mouth; Like a lamb led to the slaughter or a sheep before the shearers, he was silent and opened not his mouth.”  (Isaiah 53:7, NAB)

“So Pilate went back into the praetorium and summoned Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?”” (John 18:33, John 19:1-16, NAB)

Simply Reflect:

Innocent Jesus, what have you done to deserve the insults, the mocking, the bloody scourging and painful crowning with thorns?  How can the innocent be condemned to death?  We, like Pilate, would rather offend God rather than displease men, why? 

It is most unjust for us to condemn you each day, the Innocent, to disgracefully die on the wooden cross just to save our own face, our reputation...

Quiet Pondering:

Jesus, despite knowing every single one of our thoughts, before even they rise up from our hearts, you willingly and obediently accept this unjust sentence from us.  Like Pilate, we allow our human condition to overcome us daily to condemn you to death – we are seduced by the power syndrome of the world.

Daily, we choose to separate ourselves from following you.  How can we call ourselves your disciple, when in our own lives, we often pre-judge others, discriminate them, speak harshly against them, abuse them, fail to understand and love them?  Others may not know, but deep within your heart, you know.

Resolve to speak with your heart rather than with the tongue...

For our part in crucifying Jesus daily, we ask for God's mercy and the courage to repent...

“There is a new dirty word in our language, only it has five letters instead of four.  And that word is CROSS.”

– Archbishop Fulton Sheen

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