Second station: Jesus receives his cross
[Jesus] called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it.
I see you, Jesus, crowned with thorns as you receive your cross. You accept it, as you always accept everything and everyone. They burden you with its wood, heavy and rough, yet you do not rebel, you do not reject that unjust and humiliating instrument of torture. You take it up and begin to walk, carrying it on your shoulders.
How many times have I rebelled in anger against burdens I have received, viewing them as heavy or unjust. That is not your way. You are only a few years older than I – nowadays we would consider you still young – but you are accepting. You take seriously what life offers you, every opportunity it presents as if you wanted to go to the very heart of things, to discover that there is always something beyond appearances, something remarkable and meaningful. Thanks to you, I understand that this is a cross of salvation and liberation, a cross that bears me up whenever I stumble, a yoke that is easy, a burden that is light.
The scandal of the death of God’s Son, a sinner’s death, a criminal’s death, grants us the grace to discover amid sorrow your resurrection, amid suffering your glory, amid anguish your salvation. And the cross itself, which speaks to us of humiliation and pain, is now revealed, thanks to your sacrifice, as a promise that from every death new life will arise, and in every dark place light will shine. And so we can cry out: “Hail, holy cross, our one hope!”
I ask you, Lord,
that in the light of the cross, the symbol of our faith,
we may accept our sufferings and, enlightened by your love,
embrace our own crosses, made glorious by your death and resurrection.
Give us the grace to look back on the story of our lives
and to rediscover in them your love for us.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6