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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Via Dolorosa 3/14...Jesus Falls The First Time

The next few days in Lent, we journey 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 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:

“We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, NAB)

“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6-8, NAB)

Simply Reflect:

O Jesus, the path you must journey to Golgotha is not easy, uphill, downhill, rocky paths, the crowd mocking, the soldiers whipping, cursing, and swearing.

Dear Jesus, after all the scourging, flogging, beatings and sleepless hours, you must have been terribly exhausted.  The weight from the beams of the Cross against your open-wound shoulders must have been bitterly painful.

Blood oozing from your head pierced by the crown of thorns, kept on blinding your view. You cannot see your chosen disciples, your mother, your friends, people you have healed…

Suddenly, your knees failed you and you collapsed, the entire weight of the Cross crushed your flesh and bones. Your face smashed the dusty ground; the wounds on your body tore open.

O, the pain Jesus has to bear for the love of his people…the Cross he has to carry.  The soldiers and crowd continue to ridicule, jeer and taunt him as he struggled to pick himself up…  Everyone watched but no one helped. What have we done to our King?

Quiet Pondering:

Jesus, my Lord, everything you have taught, everything you have preached, everything you have shown and shared…was somehow simply not returned to you during your torturous climb to Golgotha.

Ears have heard, but now forgotten; eyes have seen, but now turned blind.  You know this is the will of the Father – this is the only route to save mankind, this is the price of our sins.

Why are the hearts of human ever so hardened?  Did not God created mankind in His very own image? 

What has the world then done to my people?  What have you, my Creation, done to your God?

The Cross is heavy but Jesus, the man, remained obedient; the pain is awful, the remaining journey ahead to Golgotha, frightful.  Each step of the way of the Cross is beginning to be purified by the Most Precious Blood of Jesus the Christ.

May this Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, so holy, also wash and purify our hearts and soul this Lent so that we, too, can turn our lives back to the Father.

Resolve to be mindful that it is not the weight of the Cross, but our sins, our turning away from Jesus daily in everything we say, not say, do and not do, which has caused Jesus to suffer and bleed so much.

Jesus, for the sake of your sorrowful passion, may the Precious Blood of Jesus cleanse me and help me become aware of all my actions which bring hurt to you, help me to remember the sufferings you have to humbly endure for our sake. Help me to take up my own cross and simply follow you.

“Most people really do not suffer from a sense of inferiority, but a sense of superiority.”
- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

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