Gazing upon the cross, we see this truth with crushing finality: Your ways, dear Jesus, are not our ways.
*Station 11: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
You willingly become our sacrifice, Jesus – led to the slaughter, carrying the sins of us all. And even now, you surprise me. I expect bitterness, or at best a silent victim, one who “submitted and opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). But you speak words of mercy – “Father, forgive them” (Luke 23: 34) – and fidelity: “Into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). So often, my heart is hardened by vengeance or self-righteousness. In those moments, dear Lamb of God, let your peacemaking spirit stir in me.
Station 12: Jesus Dies on the Cross
Why do you have to die, Lord Jesus? St. Peter says it is to ransom my futile conduct “not with…silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb” (1 Peter 1: 18-19). I know all about “futile conduct,” dear Lord; my best efforts often seem to fall well short of the mark. Teach me to accept the astonishing gift you offer from the cross, Jesus – the chance to submerge my life in your saving grace.
Station 13: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross
Mary and John hold a treasure – a lifeless Lamb, it seems. They’ve heard you whisper, “It is finished” (John 19: 30). Now they – and we – begin to understand: The sacrifice is complete. You have given everything, absolutely everything, in order to restore the broken connection between heaven and earth. Help me to let go of things that can never satisfy, Lord. Let me experience the joy of finding you – by freely choosing to lose myself in service to others.
*From my Way of the Cross Minute Meditations, “Behold, The Lamb of God” © 2009 and written for Creative Communications for the Parish.
In your Christian kindness…Please consider supporting the work of our Kairos Prison Ministry team as we serve the residents of Menard Correctional Center this spring. You can make a tax-deductible “green agape” donation to help defray the cost of the retreat. Click here to contribute: https://bit.ly/3JIZNf7 (Designate “Menard State Prison”)
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.