Thursday, March 29, 2018

Catholic Reflections 661 : Good Friday Stations of the Cross - 30th March, 2018

Good Friday Stations - 30th March, 2018

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Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Good Friday Stations - 30th March, 2018 by clicking this link here: https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/good-friday-stations-of-the-cross-faith-hope-and-love  (EPISODE: 86 )


THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS. 2018
(Traditional with Scriptural connections).


LEADER:   (GOES TO THE LECTERN AND BEGINS)

LEADER:
Let us pray
(that the Lord Jesus will teach us his ways, through this prayer journey to Calvary).

Lord Jesus, as we begin this journey of the Stations of the Cross, help us to see that, for you, it was a journey of love. May we learn from this journey how to follow you more closely. We ask that you help us to accept the love for all people that you bear. Who live and reign forever and ever. 


STATION NUMBER: ONE

The First Station: Jesus is condemned to death.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


Reading                                           
Many gave false testimony against Jesus, and their testimony did not agree. But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and

‘you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power,’
and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’ ”
 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death.
[1][2]

(Jesus was unjustly judged. He was innocent.. He was declared innocent even by Pilate. But he was condemned unjustly. There is only one true judge and that is God……… Have there been times that I have rushed to
judgement against others. Have I acted as judge over others, when God alone is the judge? Have I spoken about others in ways that lead to them being rejected and treated in ways that do not respect their human dignity).  
ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: TWO
THE SECOND  STATION: JESUS TAKES UP HIS CROSS.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                          
Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said, "If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let them renounce themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save their life will lose it; but anyone who loses their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it".
[3]

(Jesus took up his cross and carried it for us all. How can we carry our burdens and struggles in ways that give hope and encouragement to others. Do we take our burdens and worries to Our Lord. Do we help others by offering encouragement and support, in their times of struggle? How do we ensure that we do not overburden others with our expectations, our own personal demands and needs?  How do we ensure that we do everything to lighten other’s load).


ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: THREE


LEADER:  THE THIRD STATION: JESUS FALLS THE FIRST TIME.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


Reading                                      

He has broken my teeth with gravel, pressed my face in the dust; My soul is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is. [4]
………
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have troubles but be brave: I have conquered the world."
[5]

(Jesus fell from exhaustion. Can we share our failures and struggles with Jesus, because he has shared in our physical frailty and knows our temptations and understands our weakness and pain. Are we gentle around others whose frailty and weakness visible. Are we gentle on ourselves in our own frailty. For all those who experience weakness in body, mind or spirit, may the Lord help them and lift them up. May we be willing to help up those who have fallen in one way or another).

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: FOUR

LEADER:  The Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.



Reading                                           
As the child's father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected - and a sword will pierce your own soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare."
[6]

(Mary pondered and worried about Jesus all her life. Mary treasured all these events of Jesus life, storing them up in her heart. Mary remained faithful to her beloved Son in good times and bad. Are we prepared to say “yes” to Jesus and what he asks of us, (even if it leads to suffering and pain)?  Can we draw strength from Mary who experienced confusion and wonder during her life, and also suffered the unimaginable pain of accompanying her son along his Passion. Mary suffering emotionally and spiritually at the foot of Our Lord’s cross).

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross on Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: FIVE

LEADER:  The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the cross.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                         
As they were leading him away they seized a man, Simon from Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and made him shoulder the cross and carry it behind Jesus.
[7]

(Simon was a traveler who was forced to help carry Jesus’ cross. How can we willingly help others in their burdens and struggles, to ease the pain. As a community, no one person is isolated from others. We are one people of God. We need to support and help each other. We are all the body of Christ and individually members of the Body. If one member suffers, all members suffer. Do we acknowledge our responsibility to the church and wider community, as brothers and sisters in one family of God. Do we voluntarily do what is right and good – are we proactive-  or do we often only respond when asked or when it is demanded of us? Can we be more open to respond willingly to the needs of others and our Christian calling).

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: SIX

LEADER:  The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                        

"Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father."
[8]

“For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me; in prison and you came to see me. I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
[9]

"Even as many were amazed at Him — so marred was His look beyond that of person, and His appearance beyond that of mortals — So shall He startle many nations, because of Him kings shall stand speechless."[10]

(Veronica wiped the face of Jesus. Can we recognize the face of Jesus in everyone we meet, especially those most in need. Do we serve Jesus by the way we treat those around us? In what ways do we offer comfort and strength to those who are struggling? Veronica means “true face” – do we seek, in our lives and our prayer, the true face of Christ in others and in the world.  Do we live our lives so that others can recognize the face of Christ in us and our actions).

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: SEVEN

LEADER:  The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time


We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


Reading                                        
“Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace and through his wounds we are healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and the Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us.”[11]

I was hard pressed and was falling, but the Lord helped Me.
[12]

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.
[13]

(Jesus fell the second time. We know weakness and struggle in our lives. Can we share our fears and failures with Our Lord? And can we trust in his love, his hope, and his forgiveness and strength. Are we patient with our own infirmities and weaknesses?  Are we patient with the weaknesses of others?  How do we react when others fall – emotionally, morally or spiritually?  Are we there to support and help them up? At times, rather than help and support, do we condemn and let people fall lower in confidence and hope)


ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: EIGHT
LEADER:  The Eighth Station: The women of Jerusalem mourn for Jesus.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. …For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
[14] [15]

(Even in the midst of Jesus’ unimaginable suffering and pain, he stops to show concern for the women and their families. He never stops thinking of others even when he is enduring terribly suffering?  Do I focus on the needs of others or do my needs demand most of the attention?   Even in this terrible suffering, Jesus reminds us and the women of Jerusalem that there are many different things to cry about, but he (incredibly) is saying that we shouldn’t weep about his suffering but rather all the other things that are in need of change and justice. He wants them to weep for change and for conversion of heart, that would do some good. How can we make sure that our lives help to spread the good news of Jesus? How can we ensure that our attitudes and actions do not prove an obstacle in the path of what God wants to do in the world? We have come here today to commemorate and worship our Lord, who died to save us….   We mourn for his suffering, but Our Lord, again turns to us, and says,  weep not for me…    weep for yourselves and your ways…   make  a change.. change your heart.. your attitudes… your condemnations..  your double standards…  your selfishness..  we can start this new path here and now…)

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.
STATION NUMBER: NINE
LEADER:  The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Reading                                         
Jesus exclaimed, "Come to me, all you who labour and are over-burdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden is light!
[16]

I am like water poured out; all My bones are racked. My heart has become like wax. My throat is dried up like baked clay, My tongue cleaves to My jaws; to the dust of death, you have brought Me down. [17]

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus. He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave. He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. [18]
Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
[19]
(Jesus was now totally exhausted. His physical energy almost completely gone. Can we imagine the incredible strength needed to keep going after this third fall, and after enduring so much already. It is clear that Jesus gave himself utterly and totally for us. Jesus gave himself to us all without any reservation or holding back in any way. How can we show generosity and love to those around us? How can we give generously of our gifts to help others?)


ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: TEN

LEADER:  The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his Garments

We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                       
“They took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, "Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it". In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: 'They shared out my clothing among them. They cast lots for my clothes.'”
[20]

You have stripped off your old behaviour, and have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its creator; in that image there is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, the circumcised and uncircumcised, the barbarian and Scythian, the slave and free person. There is only one Christ; he is everything and he is in everything.
[21]
(Jesus suffered every indignity out of love for others. He was completely humble and let go of everything because of his gospel message. He let nothing come between him and his total self-gift to the Father and to all people. Are there possessions, attitudes or ways of thinking that we hold on to, that stop us from being totally open to God and open to other people? What do we need to do to “strip away from our lives” all that is false, so we can be completely open to God’s good news and to others).


ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: ELEVEN

LEADER:  The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
We adore you O Christ and we praise you
R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                      
When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said: "Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing."
[22]
They have pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. [23]
"I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him Who sent Me."
[24]
“Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven: and the Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him." [25]
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciples he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, this is your son." Then to the disciple he said, "This is your mother."[26]
(Jesus suffered terrible pain. Let us pray for and think of those who are suffering pain at this time. For all those suffering from: persecution, from injustice, from prejudice, from being wrongfully accused, from poverty, from illness, from bereavement, from loneliness, from unemployment… //from any thing at all..//    For all who suffer – physical, emotional or spiritual PAIN. (pause)  May God help them, and be with them. May we help them in any way we can. May they know that Jesus is with them in the midst of their suffering).
ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: TWELVE

LEADER:  The Twelfth Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                         
It was now about the sixth hour and with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the temple was torn right down the middle; and when Jesus cried out in a loud voice, he said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." With these words he breathed his last.
[27]
…….. “If we live, we live for the Lord, if we die, we die for the Lord.”

(Jesus died so that all might live through him. We pray for all those who are dying, and all those who have died. May they be welcomed into the reward of God’s heavenly Kingdom. May we support and strengthen those facing death. (pause).  And, when our earthly life is ended, may we see the glory of God forever and ever in Heaven – reunited with all those we love who have gone before us.   We pray too for all those who face death or who have died alone, unloved, without hope…   unjustly…  or tragically…   May the Lord who died to save them, bring them peace and reward. ).


ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.


STATION NUMBER: THIRTEEN


LEADER:  The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross.


We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                        

“After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus - though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews - asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away.”
[28]

(Before Jesus died, he gave his mother into the care of John. Mary is our inspiration of discipleship. May we be encouraged to imitate her faith, her perseverance in times of trial and utter confusion and unimaginable suffering, and her following of Jesus in good times and in bad. May we also be there for those who are suffering; Ready to give help and strength by our presence and support. May we acknowledge that we belong to one family in the church and are responsible for the welfare and spiritual care of those around us).

ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.

***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.

STATION NUMBER: FOURTEEN


LEADER:  The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the Tomb.

We adore you O Christ and we praise you

R/ Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Reading                                   

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.
[29]

Jesus (had earlier) said to his disciples: "I tell you, most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves their life loses it; anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for the eternal life."
[30]

(Jesus was laid in the tomb. His three days in the tomb makes holy the graves of all who believe in Jesus. We pray for those who have died in the hope of the resurrection. May they be welcomed into God’s kingdom. May those who mourn the departed be strengthened by the sure hope of Christ’s promise of eternal life. Jesus, by his death has destroyed death forever. Jesus by his own death and brought salvation to the world).
ALL:  O Jesus, who for love of me, didst bear thy cross to Calvary. In thy sweet mercy grant to me, to suffer and to die with thee.
   ***(sung)   Jesus has given his life for us.
+++
(at the sanctuary)

READER:
In your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus: His state was divine, yet he did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave, and became as humans are; and being as all humans are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him on high and gave him the name which is above all other names so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
[31]

+++
Leader:

Let us pray
(that the Gospel may have a deep effect in our daily lives)
Lord Jesus Christ, our risen Saviour, unite us with yourself in redeeming the world. As we walk the way of salvation, turn us away from sin. Help us to be faithful to the Gospel and come to see the fullness of your glory where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, One God forever and ever. Amen.





(all depart silently – no final announcements or blessings)


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References:
Paul W. Kelly

[Adapted by Paul Kelly, with variations from Bill Huebsch “The new Scripture way of the Cross,” © 1993.  Also introductory prayer from “The Biblical Way of the Cross” by Michael A. Dubruiel and Amy Welborn, © 1994.

Main texts and reading suggestions taken from: Rev Shane Hoctor, Parish Pries. “MELBOURNE DIOCESE PUBLICATION, SEASONS OF HOPE,” © 1997 Jubilee Committee of Melbourne]
Some readings are from Jerusalem version, others from New Revised Standard Version. © 1969, 1989.

This shorter version also includes various sources from Stations of the Cross, including the Stations of the Cross written by St. Alphonsus Liguori (A.D. 1696-1787).
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[1]The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) .
[2] Mark  (14:56,61-64)
[3] Luke 9:23-24
[4] (Lamentations 3: 16-17)
[5] ( John 16:33)
[6] Luke 2:33-35
[7] Mark 15:21
[8] (John 14, 9)
[9] (Matt 25:35-36)
[10] (Isaiah 52:14-15) : 
[11] (Isaiah 53:5-6).
[12] (Psalm 118, 13)

[13] (Hebrews 4, 15)
[14]The New Revised Standard Version, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers) .
[15] Luke 23:27-31
[16] (Matt 11:28-30).

[17] (Psalm 22.15-16)
[18] (Philippians 2.5-7)
[19] (Luke 14.11)
[20] (John 19:23-24)
[21]  (Colossians 3:9-11)
[22] (Luke 23:33-34)

[23] (Psalm 22, 17-18)
[24] (John 6, 38)
[25] (John 3:13-15).  
[26] John 19:25-27
[27] Luke 23:44-46
[28] (John 19:38).

[29] (John 19:40-42)
[30] (John 12:24-25)
[31] From Saint Paul to the Philippians      (2:5-11)

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