The editorial of the month
Jubilee Year of Mercy: The Stations of the Cross by Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P
Each Station in the Way of the Cross is a promise of God’s mercy. We see this especially when we pray the Stations from the perspective of the Gospel parables of Christ.
1st Station: Jesus Is Condemned to Death—The Parable of the Workers Hired Late (Mt 20:1-16) We are often like the workers who grumble against the generous landowner, deploring his outrageous mercy, judging him a cheat. Save me from envy, Lord, by which I would condemn you and brand you a villain.
2nd Station: Jesus Carries His Cross—The Parable of the Two Sons (Mt 21:28-32) What moves the first son to change his mind is remembrance of his father’s love. Lord, help me to accept the crosses offered in life as an invitation to escape from my false self and to be granted deeper union with you in the Father’s love.
3rd Station: Jesus Falls the First Time—The Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mk 4:1-9) Jesus falls three times. The seed—the Word of God—falls three times before becoming fruitful. The seed falls on the path. I am fallen, Lord, in my shallowness, my superficiality. May the grace of my every fall lead me to a greater embrace of you who come so close to me.
4th Station: Jesus Meets His Mother—The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32) As the prodigal son reaches the realization that his returning home is a matter of life or death, his father is already running to him on the road. “Mary is an icon of the Father’s face” (Saint John Paul II). Lord, like you, in my misery may I see the Father’s face through an encounter with your Mother.
5th Station: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross—The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10:25-37) Jesus asks, “Which of these three…was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” Answer: “The one who treated him with mercy.” Simon is offered the privilege of being God’s own neighbor. O Lord, may I go and do likewise.
6th Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus—The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (Mt 25:1-13) Like the wise virgins awaiting the midnight arrival of the bridegroom, Veronica tends to the brutalized Jesus on the road. She is rewarded with the gift of his face. May I always await you, Lord, and long for your face.
7th Station: Jesus Falls a Second Time—The Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mk 4:1-9) The seed of the Word falls on rocky ground. I am fallen, Lord, in my inconstancy and cowardice. May the grace of my every fall lead me to a greater embrace of you who come so close to me.
8th Station: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem—The Parable of the Widow and the Judge (Lk 18:1-5) Jesus says, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me [but] for yourselves.” What consoles Jesus in his Passion is not over- wrought emotion, but our willingness to receive his love. Lord, treat me like the pestering widow as I beg for your mercy.
9th Station: Jesus Falls a Third Time—The Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mk 4:1-9) The seed of the Word falls among thorns. I am fallen, Lord, in my anxiety and my frivolousness. May the grace of my every fall lead me to a greater embrace of you who come so close to me.
10th Station: Jesus Is Stripped of His Clothes—The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) Lazarus was “covered with sores”—a fact revealed by his nakedness. The stripped Jesus is like this Lazarus…but also like the Lazarus raised from the dead (Jn 11:44). May the sight of this poor man move us to beg the Father, “Send Lazarus to save us!”
11th Station: Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross—The Parable of the Vine and the Branches (Jn 15:1-8) Just as Jesus permits himself to be affixed to the crucifix for our salvation, so do we need to be “fastened” for ever to the Vine, the Crucified. O Lord, apart from you I can do nothing!
12th Station: Jesus Dies on the Cross—The Parable of the Wicked Tenants (Mk 12:1-12) At the cross, so many seem to cry, “This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the in- heritance will be ours.” Lord, let my cry be, “You are the Son of God!” Let me share in your dying so that your inheritance will be mine.
13th Station: The Body of Jesus Is Taken Down from the Cross—The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (Mt 22:1-14) Those invited to the king’s banquet refused to come. The crucified Christ in the arms of his Mother is an invitation to the eternal wedding feast. O Lord, let me hear you beckon, “Everything is ready; come to the feast.”
14th Station: Jesus Is Laid in the Tomb—The Parable of the Talents (Mt 25:14-30) The talents symbolize Jesus. The two servants who invest the talents trust the master. May we live out their trust, Lord, as you lie in the tomb. By our faithfulness, may we share your Father’s joy in raising you from the dead.