26 Feb 2012

II Station: Jesus receives his Cross

We adore you O Christ and we praise you
For by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him. - Matthew 27:27-31

Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die. It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders! 

According to tradition, St. Bernard asked Jesus which was His greatest unrecorded suffering and the wound that inflicted the most pain on Him in Calvary and Jesus answered:
"I had on My Shoulder, while I bore My Cross on the Way of Sorrows, a grievous Wound which was more painful than the others and which is not recorded by men. Honor this Wound with thy devotion and I will grant thee whatsoever thou dost ask through its virtue and merit and in regard to all those who shall venerate this Wound, I will remit to them all their venial sins and will no longer remember their mortal sins."
With each step Jesus enters more deeply into our human experience. He walks in the path of human misery and suffering, and experiences its crushing weight. But he also accepts the cross, embraces it and what it will mean. By entering into his passion he will perform an act that reconciles humanity to God. In this he provides a clear example to us of his preaching of turning the other check, a challange to those in the world who believe that violence can only be met with violence.


"Take up your cross and follow me"

Mark D Roberts (in his meditations on the Stations of the Cross) remind us that

"Jesus had said this would happen. For quite some time he had predicted his suffering and death. The first time came right after Peter confessed him to be the Messiah. Jesus responded: “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised” (Luke 9:22). So even though the Roman soldiers led Jesus out to crucify him, they were only doing what he had said they would do.

Indeed, they were doing what he chose to happen and in many ways caused to happen. After all, Jesus had been preaching that God along was the true King, and that his kingdom was at hand . . . not exactly the kind of message Rome liked to hear. And Jesus had been in regular conflict with Jewish leaders, who saw him as a nuisance and a threat. Then, he stirred up the crowds by riding into Jerusalem as a messianic king. He disturbed the Jewish officials by ransacking the temple and halting its sacrifices, accusing the temple leaders of being no better than a bunch of thieves. Jesus seemed even to know that Judas was planning to betray him, and to consent to the betrayal. Jesus did not defend himself before the Sanhedrin, perhaps because he knew this was a lost cause. But he didn’t try to set Pilate straight either. And, of course, Jesus did not call down legions of angels to deliver him.

So, though “they led him out to crucify him,” Jesus was no passive victim. He picked up his cross and walked to Golgotha because he had chosen the way of suffering. He believed this to be the will of God, the way by which he would realize his messianic destiny. Jesus chose to suffer and die so that he might fulfill Isaiah’s vision of the Suffering Servant of God, the one who was “despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity.” As this Servant, Jesus “has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases.” Moreover, “he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5)."





Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine. Laudamus et glorificamus. resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine.
(Nous adorons ta croix, Seigneur. Nous louons ta resurrection. / We adore your cross, Lord. We praise your resurrection. / Dein Kreuz, Herr, verehren wir. Deine Auferstehung preisen wir.)
Music: Jacques Berthier

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