(Photo from Easter Pilgrimage 2018: Stations of the Cross while climbing the Rock of St. Rita)
I. Jesus condemned to death
II. Jesus takes up his cross
III. Jesus falls the first time
IV. Jesus meets his mother
V. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus
VI. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
VII. Jesus falls a second time
VIII. Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem (Lk 23:28)
IX. Jesus falls a third time
X. Jesus is stripped of his garments
XI. Jesus is nailed to the cross
XII. Jesus dies on the cross
XIII. Jesus laid in the arms of his mother
XIV. Jesus laid in the tomb
Following the episode on the Holy Stairs, Jesus begins a pilgrimage of his own. Not only does he embrace his own cross, but he calls out to us, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mt 16:24) The weight of the cross bears down upon him with the weight of our sins and he falls. Yet, he gets up and continues on. As soon as he rises, Our Lord sees his Blessed Mother and they share their sorrows. The prophecy of Simeon comes to pass as he said, “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many may be revealed.” (Lk 2:35) Now Jesus is weary and the soldiers impatient. A man is seized from the crowd, Simon of Cyrene, and is forced to aid Jesus in carrying the cross (Mk 15:21). A woman, Veronica, breaks through the crowd and wipes his face with a cloth. Just outside the walls of Jerusalem, Jesus falls a second time. Again, our sins weigh down upon him. Again, his frail humanity shows infirmity. Again, he stands back up and continues on. As Our Lord passes, he notices many women weeping for him and says to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children,” (Lk 23:28) calling them to weep for the sins which caused the Passion. Then, for the third time, on the slopes of Calvary, Jesus falls, no longer able to stay on his feet. The soldiers strip him of his garments and cast lots for his tunic. (Jn 19:24) Jesus is then nailed to the cross he has been carrying and is stood up like a scarecrow for the people to mock and jeer until he dies. Before his death, Our Lord entrusts his mother to St. John (Jn 19:26-27) and says, “I thirst.” (Jn 19:28) After the soldiers pierce the side of Jesus and confirm his death, the Jews are allowed to take his body from the cross and place him in the arms of his mother. A tomb is then made for him in an orchard near Calvary where he is laid and shut in with a great stone.
Resource: Daily Roman Missal (World Library Publication: Schiller Park, IL) sixth edition, 2004.
The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition Bible
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