top of page

The Way of the Cross



We now approach the fourth Sunday of Lent.  We may have been faithful to our Lenten observances, and we may have wavered.  As we follow Jesus in his journey, we meet many people such as us.  The Stations of the Cross are not merely a road of brutal suffering leading to impending doom.  There are sudden moments of insight which pierce the darkness and point to an overarching spiritual reality.  This involves us.


Into the Stations:  Jesus meets his mother, Mary.  What thoughts might they have shared?  Her heart has been pierced, as Simeon foretold.  As only mothers can understand, she will be crucified with the only one she knows best in the world.  Within hours, at the foot of the cross, she will be commended as mother to all.  Which of them speaks first at this time?


"There are sudden moments of insight which pierce the darkness and point to an overarching spiritual reality." 

Simon, a Jewish bystander who has come from Cyrene to celebrate the Passover, is pressed into service by the Romans.  We don’t know how willingly he accepted the demands to help Jesus carry the cross, but, at least for a little while, Simon helped.  As bystanders, do we accept the demands imposed when called, willingly or unwillingly, at least for a little while, to help others?


What of the Romans, driving an innocent man to his death?  They’ve families and hopes for their futures, and a terrible discipline of brutality to fulfill to make these futures possible.  How must their cruelty against this just man, Jesus, be hardening their hearts?  Or, are they being prepared for a later reflection and the dawning of a new faith?  For one of them, a centurion, the proclamation of that new faith is imminent.


"As bystanders, do we accept the demands imposed when called, willingly or unwillingly, at least for a little while, to help others?"

Then there are the sorrowful women of Jerusalem, one of whom, Veronica, wipes the face of Jesus.  How does it feel to confront the face of Jesus, the wounded face of God, the Divine Mercy?  What must it be like to soothe that suffering face?  Our kindness may often seem meaningless.  But do we realize, the mercy of Jesus, suffering, is actually its ever-flowing source?


Lest we forget, those disciples most inspired by Jesus are now outside the scene, hiding in shame and fear.  Those first called to the table, within hours of celebrating the Last Supper, have given in to betrayal and are undergoing a different, self-inflicted crucifixion.  Except for St John.  Do the others know where John is?  Is he praying for them?


"Our kindness may often seem meaningless.  But do we realize, the mercy of Jesus, suffering, is actually its ever-flowing source?"

The journey of Lent is the Way of the Cross.  When we have made the intentional turn to follow Jesus, we become aware of our hidden agendas, distractions, needs, and concerns for those we love.  In all the encounters described above there are no coincidences.  All who encounter the suffering Jesus are invited into the mystery of salvation.  Some accept, some hesitate, some turn away.  But God never turns away, and the arrow of light that pierces each heart will never be forgotten.  The Word of God, Jesus Christ, will live and give life to those who hear and respond.


May these days of Lent be fruitful as we follow the Way of the Cross.       

+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg

Bishop of Pueblo





If you found this article helpful, you'll enjoy "The Living Garden" E-News" & "The Little Way" magazine!


The Living Garden: a bi-weekly email to your inbox the 1st and 15th of the month.


The Little Way magazine: a quarterly publication delivered to your home.


To subscribe: scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "Subscribe to The Living Garden" and "Subscribe to The Little Way". Subscribing is easy and FREE!

183 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page