LOCKDOWN 3 lentfriday2
On Fridays in Lent it is customary to meditate on the Stations of the Cross.
As we accompany Jesus on his journey to Calvary,
let us take a moment to remember how difficult that journey was.
He carried his cross through the narrow crowded streets of Jerusalem.
It was Passover time and so the city was full of people,
many of whom mocked, jostled and took pleasure in watching
as Jesus struggled with his heavy burden.
The way was often steep.
The journey that Jesus made on that day
remains a symbol of Christianity in the world,
as it struggles with its own crosses and failures,
and the challenges of modern life.
The streets of our towns are filled with people
who carry their personal crosses,
who are bruised, battered and broken.
Jesus invites us to journey with him
and to reflect on his suffering as it continues in the lives of his people.
In solidarity with all who suffer,
let us pray that we will be open to whatever he wants us
to see, hear and understand.
THIS FRIDAY'S STATION: Jesus Takes Up His Cross.
Based on Stations composed by Sr. Anne Holton RSM
Jesus was led away carrying the cross by himself.
A cross is not just a piece of wood,
it is everything that makes life difficult.
Jesus carried the crosses of his life without complaint,
as a poor person and as an itinerant prophet.
In the calm and courageous way,
he put up with the threats of the Pharisees
and the lack of understanding of his own disciples.
In the way that he carried all the burdens of his life but,
in particular, the way in which he carries this awful, final burden,
he transforms the cross
from a symbol of condemnation
into one of liberation.
There are burdens that we all carry,
some are very obvious and others we take great care to hide.
There are the burdens of illness, pain and disability,
of old age, dependence,
and caring for someone who no longer knows who we are.
There are the burdens of constant fear,
of loneliness and of isolation.
The invitation of Jesus on the cross
is to hand over these burdens to him.
That Christ takes up the cross
in front of Vancouver’s trade and convention centre,
is arrested by men in business suits,
reminds me of what always disturbed me most about this story:
Jesus’ fate wasn’t the decision of one person.
It didn’t have to play out to its tragic conclusion if, at any point,
someone had chosen differently.
Refused the bag of silver.
Governments, corporations, and institutions operate via a hierarchy of power;
a chain of decisions lead to what, in the end, feels inevitable.
Who’s to blame?
and no one.
May we feel your presence Lord in all the burdens we carry.
Help us to share our burdens more freely, not to be afraid to acknowledge our fears and our pain.
May we be more aware of the crosses that others bear and make time to alleviate their burden.
May your face shine on each one of us
through the crosses we bear.
REFLECTION IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC
It would have been a very weighty piece of wood;
enough to support a man, some feet from the ground.
He has already been beaten,
and had a crown of thorns put on his head.
What crosses are we having to carry in these days?
The cross of isolation.
The cross of living with people who are hard to live with.
The cross of a cramped flat, with no garden.
What crosses are others carrying?
Those who are refugees, or homeless.
Those who have elderly relatives they cannot visit.
Those who are anxious about money, or jobs.
Consider for a moment the particular cross
that you are carrying in this pandemic.
Jesus knows exactly what it is like to carry your cross.