Sunday, 2 April 2017

Seventh Station: Jesus Bears the Cross

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Louise Crossley (No. 239)

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.

When I gave birth for the first time, I felt that it was more than I could bear. I vividly remember fearing I could literally break in half. The other births, while still painful, where less overwhelming as my body was strengthened by past experience.

When I first experienced a broken heart, I thought I could not live on. The pain seeped through my body as though my heart was leaking venom that was poisoning my will to go on. While, heartbreak is never easy, it gets a little less intense as a result of knowing what to expect or from bracing ourselves somewhat.

Jesus carrying the cross at this Station represents the impact of first times. The fear of the unknown makes difficult times more difficult. When we carry our own cross for the first time it seems heavier until we prove to ourselves that we are strong enough and that Jesus is with us.

When this happens we are sometimes given a choice: to endure or not to endure? Even when there is no choice, we choose how we cope. We choose the manner in which to conduct ourselves during difficult times.

The Cross may be especially heavy when we experience ‘no guilt’ for wrong doings and wonder why bad things happen to good people. At this time, we can reflect on Jesus and this Station, and carry our burdens with as much strength as we can find.

‘Shall I crucify your … (faith)?’ Asks this world over and over. What will your answer be next time you are asked?