MEDITATIONS by H.E. Msgr. Renato Corti, Emeritus Bishop of Novara 

INTRODUCTION

It was 19 March 2013. Pope Francis had been elected just a few days before. He preached on Saint Joseph, the “protector” of Mary and Jesus, as a model of discretion, humility, silence, abiding presence and complete fidelity.

The present Way of the Cross will make constant reference to the gift of our being “protected” by God’s love, particularly by Jesus crucified, and to the task which we in turn have received, to be loving protectors of all creation, of every person, especially the poor, of ourselves and our families. In this way we will make the star of hope shine forth in our world.

We want to take part in this Way of the Cross in profound union with Jesus. Attentive to the words of the Gospel, we will soberly meditate on some of the thoughts and feelings present in the mind and heart of Jesus at that time of trial.

We will also consider some of those challenging situations which – for better or worse – are typical of our own time. By allowing them to resonate within us, we will show our desire to imitate our Lord Jesus Christ in his Passion.

Prayer

O Father, who willed to save mankind by the death of your Son on the cross,
grant that we who have known on earth the mystery of his love,
may be his witnesses, in our words and actions, in our daily lives,
before all those whom you place on our path.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

Christ Leaving The Praetorium by Gustave DoréFIRST STATION
Jesus is condemned to death

Intimacy, betrayal, condemnation

Adoramus…

From the Gospel according to Luke

“This is my body, which is given for you… This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.

From the Gospel according to Mark

“Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews’. They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified”.

JESUS’ THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

I just celebrated Passover with my disciples. I had eagerly desired this: my last Passover, before the passion, before my return to you! But then something went wrong. The devil put it in the heart of one of my disciples to betray me. In the garden of Gethsemane he came up to me. With a sign of love he said, “Greetings, Rabbi!”. And he kissed me. How bitter was that moment!

During the meal, I asked you, Father, to protect my disciples in your name, that they may be one, as we are one.

OUR RESONANCE

Jesus, even more than your first disciples, we are weak in faith. We too risk betraying you, while your love should make us love you all the more.

We need prayer, watchfulness, sincerity and truth. That is how our faith can grow. A faith which is strong and full of joy.

LET US PRAY

Protected by the Eucharist

“May your body and blood, Lord Jesus, protect us for eternal life”.

May this miracle take place for our priests who celebrate the Eucharist and for all of us, the faithful who approach the altar to receive you, the living bread come down from heaven.

All: Pater noster… Stabat Mater

 

Jesus takes up His crossSECOND STATION
Jesus takes up his cross

“Numbered with the transgressors”

Adoramus…

From the Gospel according to Mark

“After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him”.

JESUS’ THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS

The soldiers of the governor surround me. For them, I am no longer a person but a thing. They want to toy with me, to mock me. So they dress me up as a king. There is even a crown, a crown of thorns. They strike my head with a reed. They spit on me. They lead me off.

I keep thinking of the striking passage of the prophet Isaiah about the Servant of the Lord. It says that he had no appearance of beauty; he was despised; he was a man of sorrows; he was like a lamb led to the slaughter; he was cut off from the land of the living; he was beaten to death. I am that Servant, sent to reveal the greatness of God’s love for man.

OUR RESONANCE

You, Jesus, were “numbered with the transgressors”. Among the first generation of Christians, simply because they spoke openly of you, Peter and John, Paul and Silas were cast into prison. This has happened repeatedly throughout history.

In our day too, men and women are imprisoned, condemned and even slaughtered for the simple reason that they are believers or engaged in promoting justice and peace. They are not ashamed of your cross. For us they are wonderful examples to imitate.

LET US PRAY IN THE WORDS OF A MARTYR, SHAHBAZ BHATTI

On the morning of 2 March 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities, was killed by a group of armed men. In his spiritual testament he had written:
“I remember a Good Friday when I was only thirteen years old. I heard a sermon on the sacrifice of Jesus for our redemption and for the salvation of the world. And I thought of responding to that love by showing love for our brothers and sisters, placing myself at the service of Christians, especially the poor, the needy and the persecuted who live in this Islamic country.
“I want my life, my character and my actions to speak for me, and to say that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. This is so strong a desire in me that I would consider it a privilege if Jesus should wish to accept the sacrifice of my life”.

In the light of this testimony, let us pray: Lord Jesus, you strengthen inwardly all who suffer persecution. May the fundamental right of religious freedom spread throughout the world. We thank you for all those who, like “angels”, give marvellous signs of your coming Kingdom.

All: Pater noster… Stabat Mater

continue on with the rest of The Stations

Posted on Ave Maria
One comment on “The Cross, Radiant Culmination Of God’s Protective Love (We too are called, in love, to be protectors)
  1. Michael Njenga Kimani says:

    Very nice reflection n advises to many. Hope I got it during Lenten season but fine it lifelong journey to b reflective.

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