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

Fourth Station: Jesus is Denied by Peter

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 Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.

Matthew 26: 69-75

How can faith be sustained in adversity?

When I read this, I am saddened by what Peter was going through in this moment of adversity. I am saddened because he betrayed Jesus, just when Jesus needed him the most… the man he loved, the man he left his family to follow and to serve.

I am saddened because I can only imagine how scared and afraid Peter was in that moment when he realized how very hard it was to follow Jesus and to do the right thing.

I am ultimately saddened because I see myself in Peter. I see all the times that I have betrayed Jesus in my life. The times that I have walked away from Him, knowingly, and not stood by Him or by His teachings. Like Peter hearing the crowing of the rooster, our conscience reminds us what is right and what is wrong. How often we, like Peter, chose to ignore it and to take the easier path.

But I also see within this story a message of love. Peter realized that he had sinned against Jesus, and he repented in his bitter tears of remorse. Jesus forgave Peter, and in this forgiveness, Peter returns to serve and glorify God… and through Jesus he built the Church on earth.

So, I see this with hope! I see that even after all my failures to follow Jesus, and the many times that I have denied Him, Jesus is a God of love who will welcome me back if I truly am repentant of my sins… and He will always be with me!

Lord,
grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.

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 Javier Ubarri

Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

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 day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin.  They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond.  But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”  They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.”  Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.”

Luke 22: 66-71

When Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin, there is no argument, no team of lawyers, no defense. The Son of Man humbly stands alone. Jesus declares the power of God, accepts God’s will, takes up his cross, loving us every step of the way.

How do I follow in His footsteps? Each day I begin with the best of intentions. I ask God to guide me in doing His will. Let my words be Your words Lord, I say. Let each person I meet today see in me a joyful servant of God. I know I often fall short, but there are so many blessings in trying again and again!

Do I humbly accept God’s will? I have had tremendous help with acceptance through our generous faith filled community of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. “Everything that happens in your life is part of God’s plan for your eternal happiness.” These wise words shared with me in a spirituality class opened my eyes. I could now see God’s hand in every aspect of my life.

As I journey through this most Holy Season of Lent, my prayers are of deep gratitude for His ultimate sacrifice. My petitions are for joyful acceptance of God’s will. My hope is that I humbly take up my cross… Loving Him every step of the way!

Lord,
grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.

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 Deb Donohue

Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, is Arrested

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, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders.  His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.”  He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.”  And he kissed him.  At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.

Mark 14: 43-46

Imagine for a moment what it feels like to be betrayed. Sad to say, I suspect that some of us have had this experience. Perhaps it was in a small way such as being the subject of gossip or in a profoundly harmful way, as Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. The very symbol of affection for another, a kiss, is the sign of betrayal. How painful this must have been!

We are a community of faith. Jesus calls each of us to be His disciples, to journey with Him, and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. This takes courage. It requires sharing our faith and our lives with each other. We risk being vulnerable… and when someone close to us lets us down for whatever reason, we are called to forgive, and forgive again, and not to be deterred from sharing our life with others.

May the example of this moment provide each of us with the grace of knowing that we do not journey as disciples alone… Jesus is with us.

Lord,
grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.

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 Hobie Murnane

First Station: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

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 Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Matthew 26: 36-41

Jesus had his last supper with His disciples. He had told Peter that he will deny Him three times, and Peter said in response, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” Now, Jesus, his soul “sorrowful even to death” asks Peter, James, and John to stay with Him and pray with Him.

How do they respond? They fall asleep. Even though they had witnessed the Transfiguration, they all fall asleep. As much as they loved Jesus, followed Jesus, worked miracles in His name, and believed in Him, these three closest friends could not overcome their human frailty.

Jesus, the Incarnate, in His human nature, facing an excruciating death, prays “not as I will, but as you will.” He accepts His Father’s will, and He “obeys, even unto death.”

What does this say for us? It tells us to be careful not to presume that our faith is strong. That it is strong enough to undergo the test. We are weak, frail, human beings. It tells us that Jesus knows how weak we are. We need to know it too. We need humility in our faith.

We need to recognize our weakness. We need to give up reliance on our own strength and learn to put our trust in God. We need to pray, with Jesus, for the humility to accept and obey the Father’s will in our lives.

Jesus shows us the way. We need to follow.

Lord,
grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things.

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 Barbara Flynn

Day 10: Declare the Awesome Truth

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:16-20
Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…

These verses represent the conclusion of the gospel according to Matthew.  

Jesus has been crucified, has risen, and meets with the apostles to pass to them the responsibility for building God’s church on earth.   

Some call these verses ‘The Great Commissioning!’  

They are symbolic, declarative, and instructional.  

“The eleven disciples went to Galilee…”:  We know there were 12; the difference of 1 being notable and a subtle reminder of the perils of rejecting Christ.  

“…to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them”:  A place ‘reaching up to the heavens’, closer to God, where Christ has previously preached, and where many can see from down below.  

“When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted”:  Intriguing that one would worship while having doubt.  Worship would be appropriate for the risen Christ, Him having conquered death, demonstrating he is the son of God; what’s to doubt, especially considering the apostles have witnessed his miracles during his ministry?  An imposter, maybe?  Or self-doubt, perhaps.    

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me”:  Of course, Jesus knew the apostles had doubts, Him being all knowing; what better way to resolve doubt, than to declare the awesome truth, with absolute certainty.  

“Go, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”:  THIS is the ‘Great’ part of the commissioning; being tasked with making followers of ALL people, Jews and Gentiles alike, through Baptism into God’s family.  

“…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you”:  a reference to the beatitudes, the commandment to love one another, and many other teachings from Christ’s ministry; Christ set standards that his disciples are expected to live up to; truth, not relativism, is the basis of Christ’s message.  

“And behold, I am with you to the end of the age”:  translated, I have your back, and that is for the duration.  

These 5 verses represent what we are called to:  we’ve been given the authority, the source material, and the sponsorship, and we know what needs to be done.   

Let us proceed as requested by Christ himself, with grace, to serve others through discipleship and secure our place in God’s kingdom.


By Bob Cregg

Day 9: Abide in Our Father’s Everlasting Love

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.  As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

John 15: 7-11
Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…

This past June, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of my father’s death. At the time, I feared that he was lost forever even though I knew that this was not the case.  Emotions probably got the best of me, but when we experience death I can imagine it’s similar for all of us. Yet since his passing, I found him with me almost every single day. Whether it’s a thought or in the telling of a joke or just seeing some thing, my father has been present to me. I’m starting to realize what it means to abide in my father’s love. Jesus speaks of His father’s love in this way too. He tells us that if we abide in His love our joy will be complete.  Abiding in love is not bound by place, time, or even death. It is everlasting, it is eternal. How is Jesus abiding in your life? May you find within you – and in others – His everlasting love, and in His love may your joy be complete.


By Hobie Murnane

Day 8: Belief in His Word

When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.”

Matthew 8:5-13
Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…

We know the words of this unnamed centurion quite well. His expression of faith is ours every time we go to Mass, before we receive the Body and Blood of Christ.  

But stop for a moment to consider the limitless faith this individual had in his time of need. By every measure, the centurion holds power and authority here on earth, but those are only outward assurances; what matters is what’s in his heart. And, in his heart, he truly believes that the mere word of Christ could heal, that devotion and trust in Christ is the only way to be healed.   

When I struggle with my own faith, I think of the centurion, and his act of faith helps me to simplify. I can either walk with God, or I can walk on my own, and doing it my way always leads to more grief and more fear. God is there for us, He wants to walk with us, He wants us to know He loves us.  

The centurion’s faith was so strong that it “amazed” even Christ Himself! Can you imagine that you and I can amaze our Lord through our faith in Him? 


By Kevin Dougherty

Day 7: He Gives Us His Very Self

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.”

Matthew 26:26-29
Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…

We must always see – and never forget – that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is an act of perfect love that lies within His Divine Power.  Jesus did not just leave us with a symbol or some physical token to remember him by.  He gave us his very self.  What human being, after all, in love with another would choose a merely symbolic contact, instead of a flesh and blood relationship?  Probably none, if we are being honest.  One would be hard pressed to find a better expression of God’s love for us and of ours for Him.  The Words of Institution are words that echo those of Jesus himself.  What a significant and powerful moment of the Eucharistic celebration this is!  Not only is it efficacious in bringing about transubstantiation – a change we can all believe in – we also become united with Him and incorporated into his body as we take and eat the life-saving bread and saving cup he offers to us out of pure love. 


By Fr. Larry Basbas

Day 6: To Forgive and To Be Forgiven

And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20
Listen to this scripture passage & reflection, and pray along with us…

Forgiveness takes one person.  

Reconciliation takes two people.  

In my own life someone who I loved and honored and was very close to me said something very cruel & harsh to me and it really hurt. I even came home and wrote it down & put it in a dresser drawer because I could not believe what he had said. Over time I chose to forgive him. Even though I forgave him we never reconciled and went on with life and pretended it did not happen.  

It still stung me because we never talked about it. And it bothers me to this very day 28 years later.  

So, what was missing from the whole experience was reconciliation. In this case the person who hurt me was oblivious to what he had done. We could have had a more harmonious relationship if we had been able to talk about it.  

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing but reconciliation is even better and as ambassadors for Christ we can be people who have been reconciled and help others reconcile as well.   

God has forgiven us and when we accept that forgiveness, we were reconciled to him.


By Michael Bacik