Today we begin the final 14 days or so of our Lenten Reflections.
They are based on 14 Stations of the Cross
Remember Book of Jesus Ben Sirach 35:18
‘The widow’s tears run down the cheeks of God’ .
This is not just an image, a metaphor or an allegory.
God, in Jesus, actually sheds tears and sweats blood for all of us.
Over the next 14 days or so, up to Holy Saturday,
we hope to pause focus, pray, listen, stop, be still for a few moments and
reflect day by day on each of the traditional Stations of the Cross.
The Fourteen Stations are in the present tense. Jealousy, betrayal, denial, cowardice, cruelty, abandonment, mockery, sham, wickedness, silence, suffering, steadfastness and sacrifice.
Jesus takes them all and more upon himself.
He is our God on his knees who washes feet.
He is our God who bites the dust.
He is our God who literally falls for us
so as to break all our falls and failures.
The Stations of the Cross invite us
to show one another the image of God and grow in the likeness of Christ.
What they say is happening now in your own life
or someone’s else’s life, somewhere in the world.
The First Station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death
We adore you O Christ and we praise you.
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
Remember John 19:11.
‘You would have no authority over me at all were it not given to you from above’
In this station we remember all those in authority.
Pilate washes his hands, declaring his own innocence before an innocent Jesus who stands before him.
Pilate sneaks his way into our third century creed in the phrase about Jesus: ‘For our sake he suffered under Pontius Pilate’.
We often use the phrase, ‘my hands are tied’ to avoid responsibility or a difficult decision.
In this station God’s hands are tied and bound.
God puts himself into our hands, as Barabbas is released and we join the baying chorus of the crowd who shriek out,
CRUCIFY HIM! CRUCIFY HIM!
‘Man of sorrows wrapt in grief,
Lamb of love, our comfort be:
Hear our mournful litany.’
(#20 Hymn in the Divine Office, Volume 2)
who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
(These last 14 days of Lent come to us courtesy of John Cullen, P.P., author of the book ‘Calvary Covenant’ . his book published by Messenger publications, c/f www.messenger.ie/bookshop