Stations of the Cross

            Via Crucis

 

 

The First Station:  Jesus is condemned to die.

Jesus stands in the most human of places.  He has already experienced profound solidarity with so many on this earth, by being beaten and tortured.  Now he is wrongfully condemned to punishment by death. His commitment to entering our lives completely begins its final steps.  He has said "yes" to God and placed his life in God's hands. We follow him in this final surrender, and contemplate with reverence each place along the way, as he is broken and given for us.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

I look at Jesus.  His face. The crown of thorns.  The blood. His clothes stuck to the wounds on his back.   Pilate washes his hands of the whole affair. Jesus' hands are tied behind his back. This is for me.  That I might be free. That I might have eternal life. As the journey begins I ask to be with Jesus. To follow his journey. I express my love and thanks.

1. Primera Estación: Jesús es condenado a muerte.

Jesús está en el más humano de los lugares. Ya ha experimentado una profunda solidaridad con tantas personas de este mundo, al ser golpeado y torturado. Ahora es injustamente condenado a la pena de muerte. Su compromiso de entrar completamente en nuestras vidas inicia su etapa final. Ha dicho “sí” a Dios y ha puesto su vida en manos de Dios. Le seguimos durante esta entrega final, y contemplamos reverentes cada lugar del camino, mientras es destrozado y entregado por nosotros.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos,
YR: a que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

 

Mientras observo la escena, me conmuevo de ultraje y gratitud. Veo a Jesús. Su rostro. La corona de espinas. Su ropa está adherida a las llagas de su espalda. Pilatos se lava las manos de todo el asunto. Las manos de Jesús están atadas a su espalda.

Esto es por mí. Para que yo pueda ser libre. Para que yo pueda alcanzar la vida eterna. Al comenzar el recorrido pido estar con Jesús. Seguirle en su camino. Expreso mi amor y mi gratitud.
 

The Second Station:  Jesus Carries His Cross.

Jesus is made to carry the cross on which he will die.  It represents the weight of all our crosses. What he must have felt as he first took it upon his shoulders!  With each step he enters more deeply into our human experience. He walks in the path of human misery and suffering, and experiences its crushing weight.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I contemplate the wood of that cross.  I imagine how heavy it is. I reflect upon all it means that Jesus is carrying it. I look into his eyes.  It's all there. This is for me. So I place myself with him in this journey. In its anguish. In his freedom and surrender.  In the love that must fill his heart. With sorrow and gratitude, I continue the journey. Moved by the power of his love, I am drawn to him and express my love in the words that come to me.

 

The Third Station:  Jesus Falls the First Time.

The weight is unbearable.  Jesus falls under it. How could he enter our lives completely without surrendering to the crushing weight of the life of so many on this earth!  He lays on the ground and knows the experience of weakness beneath unfair burdens. He feels the powerlessness of wondering if he will ever be able to continue.  He is pulled up and made to continue.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I stare at the weakness in his eyes.  I can look at his whole body and see the exhaustion.

As I behold him there on the ground, being roughly pulled up, I know forever how profoundly he understands my fatigue and my defeats.

This is for me.  In grief and gratitude I want to let him remain there.  As I watch him stand again and gain an inner strength, I accept his love and express my thanks.

4. Cuarta Estación: Jesús se encuentra con su madre.

El sendero de Jesús le lleva a una poderosa fuente de su propio vigor para continuar. Toda su vida, su madre le había enseñado el significado de las palabras: “Yo soy la servidora del Señor.” Ahora ambos se miran a los ojos. ¡Una espada atraviesa el corazón de la Madre! ¡Cuánto dolor debe ver Jesús en las lágrimas de María! Ahora, su sonrisa llena de gracia bendice la misión del Hijo y conmueve las más profundas fibras de su corazón. Les unen el amor y la confianza en Dios.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Esto es por mí.

Tan increíble libertad.

La disponibilidad de un siervo.

Busco palabras para expresar lo

que hay en mi corazón.

Cuando les observo en este lugar del camino, puedo contemplar el misterio del poder del amor como fuente de fuerza. María conoce las penas que hay en el corazón de toda madre que ha perdido un hijo a la tragedia o la violencia. Les observo muy cuidadosamente, y anhelo ese amor, esa paz.

Esto es por mí. Tan increíble libertad. La disponibilidad de un siervo. Busco palabras para expresar lo que hay en mi corazón.


 

5. The Fifth Station:  Simon Helps Jesus Carry His Cross.

Jesus even experiences our struggle to receive help.  He is made to experience the poverty of not being able to carry his burden alone.  He enters into the experience of all who must depend upon others to survive. He is deprived of the satisfaction of carrying this burden on his own.

 

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I look into his face and contemplate his struggle.  His weariness and fragility. His impotence.

I see how he looks at Simon, with utmost humility and gratitude.

This is for me. So I feel anguish and gratitude.  I express my thanks that he can continue this journey.  That he has help. That he knows my inability to carry my burden alone.

I say what is in my heart, with deep feeling.

Sexta Estación: Verónica limpia el sudor del rostro de Jesús.

La jornada de Jesús es a veces brutal. Está pasando por las terribles experiencias de rechazo e injusticia. Ha sido azotado y golpeado. Su rostro muestra las señales de su solidaridad con todos los que han sufrido injusticia y trato abusivo, vil. Se encuentra con una discípula compasiva y amorosa quien limpia el vulgar escupitajo y la triste sangre de su rostro. En su velo, ella descubre la imagen de su rostro – es su regalo. Para que nosotros lo contemplemos por siempre.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Veo la profundidad

de su sufrimiento

en solidaridad con la carne.

¿Qué me dice el rostro de Jesús? ¿Qué es lo que veo, cuando observo detenidamente su rostro? ¿Acaso puedo tratar de consolar la agonía y el dolor? ¿Acaso puedo abrazarle, con su rostro cubierto por su Pasión?

El velo que contemplo es el verdadero icono del regalo de sí. Esto es para mí. Maravillado y atónito, observo su rostro ahora limpio, y veo la profundidad de su sufrimiento en solidaridad con la carne.


 

The Seventh Station:  Jesus Falls the Second Time.

Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground.  In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him. "Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return."  He has seen death before. Now he can feel the profound weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there on his knees, under the weight of his cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

I contemplate Jesus brought very low.  As I behold him there on the ground, with all the agony taking its toll on him, I let my heart go out to him.

I store up this image in my heart, knowing that I will never feel alone in my suffering or in any diminishment, with this image of Jesus on the ground before me.

This is for me, so I express the feelings in my heart.

 

 

8. Octava Estación: Jesús consuela a las mujeres de Jerusalén.

Las mujeres de Jerusalén, y sus niños y niñas, vienen a consolarle y a darle gracias. Han visto su compasión y han aceptado sus palabras de curación y libertad. Jesús había roto los convencionalismos sociales y religiosos para establecer contacto con ellos. Ahora están aquí para apoyarle. Jesús siente la pena de ellos. Sufre, sabiendo que ya no puede ayudarles más en esta vida. Conoce el misterio de enfrentar la separación de la muerte.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Observo sus rostros, tan llenos de amor y gratitud, confusión y temor. Contemplo las palabras que deben haber intercambiado. Recuerdo el amor, la ternura, la compasión y la misericordia de Jesús hacia mí. Me coloco junto a estas mujeres y niños para darle mi apoyo.

Esto es por mí. Por eso dejo que esta escena me conmueva a una profunda gratitud.


 

The Ninth Station:  Jesus Falls the Third Time.

This last fall is devastating.  Jesus can barely proceed to the end.  Summoning all this remaining strength, supported by his inner trust in God, Jesus collapses under the weight of the cross.  His executioners look at him as a broken man, pathetic yet paying a price he deserves. They help him up so he can make it up the hill of crucifixion.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I pause to contemplate him there on the ground. The brokenness that makes me whole.  The surrender that gives me life.

I pause to experience and receive how completely he loves me. He is indeed completely poured out for me.

As I treasure this gifted experience, I express what is in my heart.

 

10. Décima Estación: Jesús es despojado de sus vestiduras.

Parte de toda esta indignidad es ser crucificado desnudo. Jesús es despojado completamente de cualquier tipo de orgullo. Las heridas de su espalda se abren de nuevo. Experimenta la última vulnerabilidad de los indefensos. Ningún escudo le protege. Bajo las miradas que le escrutan, sus ojos se vuelven al cielo.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Hago una pausa para ver como le despojan de sus vestiduras. Contemplo todo lo que le quitan. Y cómo enfrenta la muerte en su desnudez. Reflexiono sobre todo lo que me ha revelado sobre sí. Sin reservas.

Cuando le observo en su humildad, sé que esto es por mí, y comparto mis sentimientos de gratitud.

 

The Eleventh Station:  Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.

Huge nails are hammered through his hands and feet to fix him on the cross.  He is bleeding much more seriously now. As the cross is lifted up, the weight of his life hangs on those nails.  Every time he struggles to pull himself up to breathe, his ability to cling to life slips away.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I make myself watch the nails being driven through his flesh.  And I watch his face.

I contemplate the completeness of his entry into our lives.  Can there be any pain or agony he would not understand?

This is for me.  Nailed to a cross to forever proclaim liberty to captives.  What sorrow and gratitude fill my heart!

11. Undécima Estación: Jesús es crucificado.

Enormes clavos perforan sus pies y manos para fijarle a la cruz. Está sangrando mucho más. Cuando levantan la cruz, el peso de su vida cuelga de esos clavos. Cada vez que trata de erguirse para respirar, se le escapa un poco más de vida.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Me obligo a observar cómo los clavos perforan su carne. Y observo su rostro. Contemplo la totalidad de su entrada en nuestras vidas. ¿Acaso habrá algún dolor o agonía que él no pueda entender?

Esto es por mí. Jesús clavado en la cruz proclamando eternamente la libertad a los cautivos. ¡Cuánto dolor y gratitud llenan mi corazón!

 

12. Duodécima Estación: Jesús muere en la cruz.

Entre dos criminales, con un título burlón sobre su cabeza, con solamente María, Juan y María Magdalena para apoyarle, Jesús exhala su último suspiro: “En tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu.”

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Aquí estoy, al pie de la cruz, junto a toda la humanidad, contemplando nuestra salvación. Observo y escucho cuidadosamente todo lo que se dice.

Esto es por mí.

Clavado en la cruz para proclamar

eternamente la libertad a los cautivos.

¡Cuánto dolor y gratitud llenan mi corazón!

Y luego, veo pasar de la vida a la muerte a aquél que me da vida. Trato de consolar a María, Juan y María Magdalena. Y dejo que me consuelen.

Ha llegado la hora de expresar mis sentimientos más profundos.

 

The Twelfth Station:  Jesus Dies On The Cross.

 

Between two criminals, a mocking title above his head, with only Mary and John and Mary Magdalene to support him, Jesus surrenders his last breath:  "Into your hands I commend my spirit."

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I stand there, at the foot of the cross, side by side with all of humanity, and behold our salvation.

I carefully watch and listen to all that is said.

And then, I experience the one who gives life pass from life to death, for me.  I console Mary and John and Mary. And let them console me.

This is the hour to express the deepest feelings within me.

 

 

13. The Thirteenth Station:  Jesus Is Taken Down From The Cross.

What tender mourning!  Jesus' lifeless body lays in his mother's arms.  He has truly died. A profound sacrifice, complete.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I behold this scene at the foot of the cross.  I contemplate touching, caressing his body. I remember all his hands have touched, all who have been blessed by his warm embrace.

I pause to let it soak in.  He knows the mystery of death.  He has fallen into God's hands.

For me.  That I might love as I have been loved.  I pour out my heart to the God of all mercies.

13. Décimo Tercera Estación: Jesús es bajado de la cruz.

¡Qué ternura en el dolor! El cuerpo exánime de Jesús yace en brazos de su madre. Verdaderamente ha muerto. Un sacrificio profundo, completo.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Observo esta escena al pie de la cruz. Contemplo como María toca su cuerpo, acariciándolo. Recuerdo a todos los que Jesús tocó con sus manos, a todos los que bendijo con su cálido abrazo. Hago una pausa para asimilar todo esto. Jesús conoce el misterio de la muerte. Ha caído en las manos de Dios.

Por mí. Para que yo pueda amar como he sido amado. Entrego mi corazón al Dios de toda misericordia.

14. Décimo Cuarta Estación: Jesús es llevado al sepulcro.

Llevan el cuerpo de Jesús al lugar de su descanso. La enorme piedra que sella la tumba es el signo final de la permanencia de la muerte. En este acto final de entrega, ¿quién se hubiera imaginado que esta tumba pronto estaría vacía o que Jesús se mostraría vivo a sus discípulos, o que le reconocerían al partir el pan? Oh, que nuestros corazones ardan dentro de nosotros, al comprender que tenía que sufrir y morir para entrar en su gloria, por nosotros.

Te adoramos, O Cristo, y te bendecimos, ya que por tu santa cruz has redimido al mundo.

Me detengo un instante a la entrada de la tumba. Este viaje final de su vida me ha enseñado el significado de este regalo suyo para mí. Esta tumba representa todas las tumbas que veo con temor, derrotado, luchando por creer que llegue a estar vacía.

En la plenitud de la fe en el Resucitado, concedida por su propio Espíritu Santo, expreso mi gratitud por este vía crucis. Le pido a Jesús, cuyas manos, pies y costado todavía llevan las señales de su viaje, que me conceda las gracias que necesito para tomar mi cruz y ser un sirviente de su misión.

 

Traducción al español de la versión en inglés del “Online Stations of the Cross” por Eduardo Villanueva,

misionero del ILAC/CESI (Institute for Latin American Concern / Centro de Educación para la Salud Integral)

Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic.

 

The Fourteenth Station:  Jesus Is Laid In The Tomb.

They take the body of Jesus to its resting place.  The huge stone over the tomb is the final sign of the permanence of death.  In this final act of surrender, who would have imagined this tomb would soon be empty or that Jesus would show himself alive to his disciples, or that they would recognize him in the breaking of bread?  Oh, that our hearts might burn within us, as we realize how he had to suffer and die so as to enter into his glory, for us.

Reader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world. As I view the scene, I become moved by both outrage and gratitude.

 

I pause to contemplate this act of closure on his life.  In solidarity with all humanity, his body is taken to its grave. I stand for a moment outside this tomb.  This final journey of his life has shown me the meaning of his gift of himself for me. This tomb represents every tomb I stand before with fear, in defeat, struggling to believe it could ever be empty. In the fullness of faith in the Risen One, given by his own Holy Spirit, I express my gratitude for this way of the cross.  I ask Jesus, whose hands, feet and side still bear the signs of this journey, to grant me the graces I need to take up my cross to be a servant of his own mission.