Fourteenth Station: Jesus is Placed in the Tomb

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.

Matthew 27: 57-60

Joseph of Arimathea asked Pontius Pilate for the body of Jesus after his death on the cross, to give him a proper Jewish burial. Joseph even offered up his family tomb and linens.

Who was Joseph of Arimathea? All four gospels mention him. They tell us that he was a wealthy man, an elite and respected member of the Jewish council, and a secret follower of Jesus. He himself was looking for the Kingdom of God, and he did not consent to the council’s decision and actions in condemning Jesus.

Joseph risked everything to extend himself in this moment of compassion towards Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and his disciples… those in the midst of their great grief and pain. He risked his wealth, his influence with the Jewish Council, his reputation, and possibly even his life.

I reflect on my own moments of compassion towards others. Do I extend myself during these opportunities to show compassion? Am I willing to risk discomfort in my own life? Does it cost me anything to be compassionate to others? Do I desire to just “mind my own business,” not wanting to get involved? Or if I do extend compassion, is the cost to me actually pretty small?

Joseph of Arimathea displayed courage by publicly becoming a follower of Jesus and risking it all to show compassion towards those who loved Jesus. Lord, help me, give me the strength and courage to have this same kind of compassion for others in my own life.

Lord,
grant us your compassion
that we may always provide for those in need.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Roberta Bacik

Thirteenth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.

Luke 23: 44-46

It is likely you have experienced being present at the death of a loved one. There is a profound realization that the life present just a moment ago is no longer there, even if death was anticipated. A life that was so real, so animated, and ever-present until now, has ended… incredulously so! It can be a dark experience.

But if we keep in mind the final statements of Jesus from the cross, the only three things recorded in Luke’s Gospel that Jesus says on the cross, we may hear a different message.

The first statement, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), reminds us of God’s Mercy through the forgiveness of our sins. The second statement, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43), reminds us of the promise of salvation, and the Kingdom of God. And finally, the statement we hear in this passage, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46), Christ recognizing his death is imminent reveals His full trust in God the Father to sustain His Spirit in heaven.

While the death of Christ was essential to God’s plan to make payment for humanity’s sinfulness, given the brutal nature of the death of Christ at the hands of the very people He so loved, it is reasonable to expect that even He would experience extreme grief… that He would experience this very darkness we so often experience in someone’s death. But this is not the message we hear from Christ on the cross. Christ trusted God with his ascending spirit, even under such rejection and pain at the end of His life on earth.

Imagine how our lives would change if we too lived with this same faith in God. These final statements of Christ from the cross provide us with three key messages about our faith: forgiveness of sins, the promise of salvation, and trust in God.

As Christ said many times, “Whoever has ears ought to hear”… are we listening?

Lord,
grant us trust in you
that when our time on earth in ended
our spirits may come to you without delay.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Bob Cregg

Twelfth Station: Jesus Speaks to His Mother and the Disciple

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

John 19: 25-27

When Mary stands at the foot of the cross of Jesus and watches him die, she is witnessing to the profound tension that we all carry at some point in our lives. Those moments of inexpressible grief and pain, and the helplessness we feel when we know we cannot immediately fix it … when we see our children and other loved ones endure pain or unjust suffering; when we witness the destruction and loss of life and property after a natural disaster; when we attempt to comprehend the toll of this pandemic on so many people who lost loved ones, livelihoods, purpose and joy in their daily lives.

And yet Mary willingly carried this tension and held space for it. She did not flee or numb herself to the reality of the pain she was witnessing and experiencing herself. Instead, she modeled for us what we are to do in our deepest moments of despair and helplessness.

We are invited to find our way to the foot of the cross, to weep, and to vulnerably share our most honest emotions with Jesus. Our Lord knew what his mother most needed in that moment… the care and protection of his beloved disciple, John. As we voice our prayers to Jesus, we know that He will bless us with what we need as well… whether it is patience, perseverance, or the kind and loving presence of a friend or confidante to witness to our pain. May we trust our Lord Jesus with our worries and fears, and humbly welcome the care and concern of loved ones who are willing to share them with us. And may God use us to be willing witnesses to the pain of our brothers and sisters as well.

Lord,
grant us constancy
that we may be willing to stand by those in need.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Sara Carsten

Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to the Good Thief

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Luke 23: 39-43

I imagine we can all remember times in our lives when we could relate to each of the two criminals in this passage.

On the one hand, in times of intense frustration or grief, there can be a real temptation to engage in a type of anger toward Jesus. The feeling of, “how could You let this happen to me, Jesus?” can creep in, and even seem like a viable excuse for our own behavior.

On the other hand, the second criminal serves not only as an example for us of unwavering perseverance, but his words of rebuke to the other criminal can sometimes serve as a wake-up call. I hear him saying to me: “where is your humility before God? Don’t you know that it is His divine plan, and not your earthly schemes, that truly matter?” That is a message I often need to hear.

Maybe the message to you is different. But no matter, we can all use a reminder to find our humility before God, on occasion. Great rewards await us when we approach God consistently, and with a humble heart. The second criminal’s leap of faith earns him a spot in Paradise, even despite his past that led to his condemnation. If we, too, can put aside our anger or hubris and approach God with humility, there is no limit to God’s Mercy and Grace available to all of us.

Lord,
grant us perseverance
that we may never stop seeking you.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Chris Freeman

Tenth Station: Jesus is Crucified

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left.  Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Luke 23: 33-34

When I think about the word “crucify” I cringe. I mean, this is one of the most brutal ways to die… nailed to a cross and hanging there in excruciating pain for hours and hours. The fact that anyone, much less the Son of God, would willingly put himself through something like this is beyond my poor powers of comprehension. As is the fact that the first words Jesus speaks in his blinding agony on the cross are words of forgiveness for those that are actually torturing him!

So how do we respond to this Jesus that loves us so intensely and forgives us so unconditionally? I think the answer is simple: we must listen and obey when he tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us [Matthew 5:44], and we must forgive seventy times seven times, i.e., without counting. [Matthew 18:22]

I thought of all of this in connection with a family member who hurt me several times in the past and whom I had turned my back on for many years. So, I picked up the phone and called him and we had a nice chat. While I didn’t voice forgiveness and he didn’t ask for it. I felt forgiveness in my heart, and it felt pretty good. This of course is small potatoes compared to Jesus’ forgiveness on the cross, but it is a start.

Loving Father please help me to continue following Jesus’ example of forgiving others, even those I may see as enemies.

Lord,
grant us merciful hearts
that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Jim Vlazny

Ninth Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”

Luke 23: 27-31

It seems like there have been greener days. Over the course of the past several months there have been many events to mourn. Whether it be the loss of loved ones, jobs, businesses or even simply the loss of routine. While pondering about this station, I was reading with my son who picked a book that I liked to lift my spirits, and we came across this poem “God Make my Life a Little Light” by M. Bentham Edwards that:

God make my life a little light, 
Within the world to glow; 
A tiny flame that burneth bright 
wherever I may go. 

God make my life a little flower, 
That giveth joy to all, 
Content to bloom in native bower, 
Although its place is small. 

God make my life a little staff, 
Whereon the weak may rest, 
That so what health and strength I have 
May serve my neighbors best. 

With distance between loved ones, feelings of helplessness can be overwhelming. Prayer and faith provide strength and comfort to get through the challenges of each day. May our small interactions with others bring light, joy, and strength to those we encounter each day regardless of our own sorrows. As Jesus, in his darkest moments, was compassionate and prayed for others; may we have the strength, generosity and faith to do the same.

Lord,
grant us gentle spirits
that we may comfort those who mourn.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Regina Johnson

Eighth Station: Jesus is Helped by Simon the Cyrenian to Carry the Cross

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

Mark 15: 21

In this verse, we are presented with the appearance of someone named Simon of Cyrene, who is forced by the Roman soldiers to help Jesus carry the cross. We do not know the full story of Simon, but just from the brief words about him there are several powerful messages for us today. Three things in particular stand out as significant to me in this passage.

One, just like Simon, there are a lot of things that happen in our lives that are unexpected. Simon was on his way somewhere else and suddenly finds himself in the middle of carrying the Cross of Jesus. Sometimes in life we proceed down one path, but God leads us down another, sometimes in an unexpected direction. Do we accept God’s path, or resist for our own direction?

Two, we know from history that someone who is being led to crucifixion typically carries only the horizontal beam, not the full cross. I think that is a good reminder in our daily lives that God only gives us the burden to carry that He knows we can handle. He never gives us the full weight of the cross to carry. Just like with Simon, Jesus is always by our side ready to help if we are open to His presence.

Three, Mark specifically mentions Simon as the father of Alexander and Rufus. It is interesting that Mark would know this detail of a random stranger on his way to somewhere else. I think by adding the words “the father of Alexander and Rufus” it shows that Simon was someone special, that he was not just an unknown passer-by but known by some in the crowd. I think no matter how anonymous and unimportant we may feel in the world, we all have that same importance and special meaning in the eyes of God.

Lord,
grant us willing spirits
that we may be your instruments on earth.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Peter Grable

Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

When the chief priests and the guards saw Jesus they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.”… They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.

John 19: 6, 15-17

O, my Jesus, I am so sorry for my sins. As I read this scripture passage, I become aware of the times that I was a Pilate and did not stand up for what was right. My self-love won out; my sin of pride would guide me to look the other way. Jesus, help me to pick up my crosses and bear them with joy… I know that you are with me.

I recall the day that I lost my central vision in one eye. The treatment is to receive shots into my eye every few months. When this happened several years ago, I was praying the Rosary daily and our dear Mother helped me to see how this cross was a blessing.

A few years later my faith had grown through the CRHP and Hearts A Fire ministries here at OLPH… and when I received the news that the disease had progressed to both eyes and had a complication of the shots in my eyes resulting in black dots in front of my vision that would come and go. I recall Jesus telling me, take Joy in this for you can always know this as a reminder that I am with you. I was not only able to carry this cross in life but was able to carry it with joy in the name of Jesus.

Are we ready each day to share in some small piece of Jesus’ Cross in our life? Can we accept the Mercy that comes by willingly carrying our cross in the name of Jesus, as He carried the cross in our name?

Lord,
grant us strength of purpose
that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Mary Maginot

Sixth Station: Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.  And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.

John 19: 1-3

As I read these verses, I was drawn deeper into the story of the crucifixion. The story embraced me with immense sorrow, but also gratitude.

What was astonishing to me was how the individuals involved and the events around Jesus’ crucifixion are so very much like some of the people and events we see in our world today. There were the Apostles Peter and John, Pontius Pilate and his wife, Caesar, the Jewish Priests, the Romans, and Herrod to name a few.

All these characters and events can be found in listening to just 10 minutes of our daily news. This brought the story very close for me, and also brought an immense sense of sorrow and gratitude that embraced me. Recognizing the brutality of the crucifixion made me weep in the thought that humanity could be so sinful and cruel. This made me sadly wonder, as I listened to the news, are we just as cruel and sinful to each other today?

Pilate knew Jesus was not guilty, but for the sake of his own reputation and authority handed over an innocent Jesus for torture and death just the same. In our minds and hearts, are we moved by the crowd? Are we moved by the pressures of society? Are we moved by our own pride and power, at the expense of others, like Pilate was? Or are we willing to stand firm in the truth of God’s word regardless of the price we might pay?

But the crucifixion story also lifts me in gratitude. Reminding me to be thankful to Jesus for taking on our pain, our punishment, and our sins… so that we might be healed, that we too might live forever!

Lord,
grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Michael Bacik

Fifth Station: Jesus is Judged by Pilate

Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…
We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… 
because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world. 

As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again, Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. … So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.

Mark 15: 1-5, 15

This passage pushes me to reflect on how we judge ourselves and others. Judging is a common practice that we all engage in but when we judge, we are operating from our own perspective and we never truly ever know what others are going through without walking in their shoes. More importantly we do not know God’s plan for one another, or ourselves for that matter. When Pilate judged Jesus, he had no idea what God’s plan was for Jesus and the sacrifice Jesus was about to make for us all. When we place trust in God’s plan, for ourselves and others, we practice discernment.

I pray for discernment to judge less and use this time to forgive and heal old wounds. Let us be guided by an understanding that God has a plan for us all, and let us love a little more because of that trust in God’s plan.

Lord,
grant us discernment
that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be to the Father...

Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you.  May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.  Amen.  

Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us.  

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

By Belinda Tobin Duellman