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Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis

3/22/2008 - 20:06 PST

(Page 3 of 7)

cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.

 

THIRD STATION

Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (14:55, 61b-62a, 64b)

Now the chief priests and the whole council sought testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. The high priest asked him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?" And Jesus said, "I am!" And they all condemned him as deserving death.

Meditation

The Sanhedrin was the court of justice of God's people. Now this court condemns Christ, the Son of the Blessed One, and judges him to be deserving of death.

The Innocent One is condemned "because he has blasphemed", say the judges, and they tear their garments. Yet we know from the Evangelist that they did so through envy and hatred.

Saint John says that ultimately the high priest had spoken in God's name: only by allowing his innocent Son to be condemned could God the Father save the guilty brothers of Jesus.

Across the centuries, hosts of innocent people have been condemned to atrocious sufferings. Some cry out against the injustice, but it is they, the innocent, who, in communion with Christ, the Innocent One, atone for the sins of the world.

Prayer

Jesus, you are not concerned to prove your innocence, you are solely intent upon restoring to man the righteousness that he lost through sin.

We were your enemies, there was no way for us to change our condition. You let yourself be condemned in order to grant us forgiveness. Saviour, help us to avoid bringing condemnation upon ourselves on the last day.

“Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
quicquid latet apparebit;
nil inultum remanebit.

Iuste iudex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.”

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

O quam tristis et afflicta
Fuit illa benedicta
Mater Unigeniti!

FOURTH STATION

Jesus is denied by Peter

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (14:66-68, 72)

And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maids of the high priest came; and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him, and said, "You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus." But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you mean." And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.

Meditation

"Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you" (Mk 14:31). Peter was sincere when he said this, but he did not know himself, he did not know his own weakness. He was generous, but he had forgotten that he needed the generosity of the Master. He claimed he would die for Jesus, but it was Jesus who was to die for him, to save him.

In making Simon the "rock" on which to build his Church, Christ involved the Apostle in his initiative of salvation. Peter naively believed that he could give something to the Master, but instead, everything was freely given to him by Christ, including forgiveness after his denial.

Jesus did not withdraw his choice of Peter as the foundation of his Church. After repenting, Peter was given the capacity to strengthen his brethren.

Prayer

Lord, when Peter speaks, enlightened by the Father's revelation, he acknowledges you as the Christ, the Son of the living God. When, on the other hand, he trusts his own reason and good will, he becomes an obstacle to your mission. Presumption causes him to deny you, his Master, while humble repentance confirms him once more as the rock on which you build your Church. Your choice to entrust the continuation of the work of salvation to weak and vulnerable men manifests your wisdom and power.

Protect the men you have chosen, Lord, so that the gates of the underworld will never prevail against your servants.

Direct your gaze upon all ...

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