SECOND STATION: JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi. [We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee.]
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum. [Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.]
Pope John Paul II
From the Gospel according to Mark. 15:20
After they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
|El Greco, Christ Carrying the Cross (1580)|
In him we see also the amazing consequence of what man has done to his God. Pilate says: “Ecce Homo” (Jn 19:5): “Look what you have done to this man!” But there seems to be another voice speaking as well, a voice that seems to be saying: “Look what you have done, in this man, to your God!”
It is very moving to hear this voice from centuries ago, as it blends with the voice coming to us from what we know in faith. Ecce Homo!
Jesus “who is called the Messiah” (Mt 27:17) takes the Cross upon his shoulders (Jn 19:17). The execution has begun.
Christ, Son of God, you reveal to man the mystery of himself. R. Christe, eleison.
Jesus, Servant of the Lord, by your stripes we have been healed. R. Christe, eleison.
Pope Benedict XVI
|Sebastiano del Piombo, |
Christ Carrying the Cross (1535)
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
MEDITATIONJesus, condemned as an imposter king, is mocked, but this very mockery lays bare a painful truth. How often are the symbols of power, borne by the great ones of this world, an affront to truth, to justice and to the dignity of man! How many times are their pomps and their lofty words nothing but grandiose lies, a parody of their solemn obligation to serve the common good! It is because Jesus is mocked and wears the crown of suffering that he appears as the true King. His scepter is justice (cf. Ps 45:7). The price of justice in this world is suffering: Jesus, the true King, does not reign through violence, but through a love which suffers for us and with us. He takes up the Cross, our cross, the burden of being human, the burden of the world. And so he goes before us and points out to us the way which leads to true life.
Lord, you willingly subjected yourself to mockery and scorn. Help us not to ally ourselves with those who look down on the weak and suffering. Help us to acknowledge your face in the lowly and the outcast. May we never lose heart when faced with the contempt of this world, which ridicules our obedience to your will. You carried your own Cross and you ask us to follow you on this path (cf. Mt 10:38). Help us to take up the Cross, and not to shun it. May we never complain or become discouraged by life’s trials. Help us to follow the path of love and, in submitting to its demands, to find true joy.
|Second Station of the Cross,|
Pfettisheim Saint Symphorian
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by Thy Name
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our Daily Bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.