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Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis

3/22/2008 - 20:06 PST

(Page 4 of 7)

us, as you did that night upon Peter, after the cock crowed.

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, 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.

Quem maerebat et dolebat
pia mater, cum videbat
Nati poenas incliti.

FIFTH STATION

Jesus is judged by Pilate

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (15:12-15)

And Pilate again said to them, "Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?" And they cried out, "Crucify him." And Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him." So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Meditation

Pilate appeared powerful, he was in a position to determine the life or death of Jesus. He enjoyed that ironic reference to the "King of the Jews", but in truth he was weak, wretched and servile. He was afraid of the Emperor Tiberius, he was afraid of the people, he was afraid of the chief priests, while nevertheless despising them in his heart. He handed Jesus over to be crucified, knowing that he was innocent.

In his vain attempt to save Jesus, he ended up granting freedom to a dangerous murderer.

To no avail he sought to wash those hands, dripping with innocent blood.

Pilate is the image of all those who wield authority as an instrument of power, having no regard for justice.

Prayer

Jesus, through your courage in declaring yourself king, you sought to awaken Pilate to the voice of his conscience. Enlighten the consciences of the many people in positions of authority, so that they may recognize the innocence of your followers. Give them the courage to respect religious freedom.

The temptation to cultivate the powerful and oppress the weak is very widespread. And the powerful are those who wield authority, those who control trade and the mass media; but there are also people who allow themselves to be easily manipulated by the powerful into oppressing the weak. How could those people cry out "Crucify him!", after they had known you as a compassionate friend, one who had only ever done good to everyone?

All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, 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.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

SIXTH STATION

Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (15:15b, 17-19)

Pilate, having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him. And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.

Meditation

Scourging as it was practised in those days was a terrible punishment. The dreadful flagellum used by the Romans tore the flesh to shreds. And the crown of thorns, apart from causing the most acute pain, was also a mockery of the divine Prisoner's kingship, as were the spitting and the blows.

Appalling forms of torture continue to emerge from the cruelty of the human heart - and psychological tortures are no less terrible than the physical variety; often the victims themselves become torturers in their turn. Are all these sufferings meaningless?

Prayer

No, Jesus, you continue to gather together and sanctify suffering of all kinds: that of the sick, of those who die in hardship, of all who experience discrimination; but the sufferings which shine out over all others are those endured for your name.

By the sufferings of the martyrs, bless your Church; may their blood become the seed of new Christians. We firmly believe that their sufferings, even if at the time they seem like total defeat, will bring true victory to your Church. Lord, grant constancy to our persecuted brethren!

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