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Stations of the Cross (Holy Land Pilgrimage 2016)

One of the most memorable events we did during our Pilgrimage in Holy Land in 2016 was to retrace the way of Jesus  to Calvary while praying the Stations of the Cross on the streets of Jerusalem. I didn’t have the prepared traditional guide for the stations, so the night before we walked the way to Calvary, I composed my own reflection on each of the stations. We started really early in the morning to have the streets of Jerusalem all to ourselves. Then we finished it with Mass in the Chapel in Calvary (Church of the Holy Sepulchre Jerusalem).

This is so memorable for me so I am sharing this with you.

Journey of Christ (Sandhurst Diocese 2016 Pilgrimage)

on the way to Calvary)

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In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In doing this age-old tradition in Lent, we are following Jesus on the way to the Cross, on the way to death and on the way to life. As we reflect and pray with the stations of the Cross, we offer all our concerns to our Lord and pray that He will transform our problems into prayers, our trials into triumphs, our sinfulness into saintliness, our cross into crowns. Let us also offer this prayerful time for our personal intentions, for our family and friends, for the peace in the world, for the conversion of sinners and for the peace in the Holy Land.

“Come Follow Me”

(Mat 4:19)

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First Station: Jesus is condemned to death

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 27:22-31

Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!

So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

 

Reflection/Prayer:

Let us contemplate on the face of Jesus—the gentle face that reveals to us what truth is like, the loving face that reveals to us the face of  mercy, the most beautiful face that shows us what the Father is like.

Let us pray for those who are innocent-victims of injustice, greed, power and ill-informed ideology. Let us also pray for those who are unjustly treated and unfairly condemned, that they may experience the comforting presence and touch of Jesus.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be… 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.   All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Second Station: Jesus takes up the Cross

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading:  John 19:13-17

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called The Stone Pavement, or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus;  and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.

Reflection/Prayer: Let us contemplate on the Cross of Jesus weighing heavily on his shoulders. He took on the burden of our sins to himself, in order to free us from the slavery of sin.

Let us pray for those who are carrying their crosses or are experiencing the crosses of any kind due to illness, natural disasters, or man-made violence. May they never give up hope rather that they would put their cares in the words of Jesus ‘Cast your burdens upon me, and I will give you rest.Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.                       All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Third Station: Jesus falls under the Cross for the first time.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading:  Isaiah 53:4-7

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

 

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the image of Jesus falling under the Cross. Our sins put him down there. Yet, he kept going. He continued on. He never gives up on us even if at times we tend to give him up. He never abandons us though at times we tend to abandon him or to put him in the last of our priorities.

Let us pray for those our brothers and sisters who are in the brink of hopelessness and despair due to life’s difficulties or due to the mockery of others, that Jesus may strengthen them and help them get up and keep going.              Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.   All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: John 19:25-27

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the image of Mary, the other women and the disciple Jesus loved standing near the Cross of Jesus. Despite the pain of seeing the suffering of her own Son, Mary stayed by Jesus. And even in his suffering, Jesus still cares for those he loved. He left his mother to the Church and he left the Church to his Mother.

Let us pray for all mothers who are suffering the loss of their son or daughter in death, displacement or any other reason, that with the prayers of Mary, they may obtain the grace of healing and reconciliation. Let us also pray for the Church that she may continue to be the caring mother for all her children.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the Cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.  All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reading: Mark 15:21

The soldiers compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the image of Jesus being relieved of his burden because someone helped him carry his Cross. Though forced to help Jesus, Simon of Cyrene was privileged to carry the Cross by which Jesus redeemed the world.

Let us pray for those who have helped us in many ways in our time of trials, problems and difficulties in life. Let us also pray for ourselves that we may always be ready to offer help to those in need.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.     All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Sixth Station: A Jerusalem woman wipes Jesus’ face.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 25:40

And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

 

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the woman among the crowd who couldn’t bear looking at Jesus heavily laden with the Cross. Tradition says her name is Veronica which means ‘true face’. With cloth at hand, she wiped the blood and sweat dripping in Jesus’ face. She couldn’t do much, but she offered what little help she could.

Let us pray that we may have the courage to do whatever we can and whatever it takes to get closer to Jesus by being sensitive to the needs of others and in showing that we care for them in whatever way we can, even if it’s the least we could do.        Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.                       All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Seventh Station: Jesus falls for the second time.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 63:9

It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity, he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the pain of Jesus underneath the weight of the Cross. He took the punishments of our sin to himself because of his great love and mercy for us. He was alienated because he stood up for the truth, for what is just, for what is proper, when we tend to do the opposite to further our self-interests and self-gratification.

Let us pray for those who were alienated because of their advocacy for what is true, what is just, right and proper. That the Spirit of Jesus may empower them to never give in to the temptations of power, greed and false security. Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Eighth Station:  Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:27-31

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 the days are surely coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

 

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the soothing words of Jesus to the women who empathised with him in his sufferings. Because of his love for us, Jesus would forget his own sufferings just to reach out to us, to comfort us and strengthen us in our sufferings.

Even in his sufferings, Jesus still cares for others. Let us pray that like Jesus we may also learn to go beyond our own personal cares and concerns and be sensitive towards others who are suffering.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.   All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading:  Luke 22:28-32

You are those who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer on you, just as my Father has conferred on me, a kingdom, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

 

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the weight of the Cross of our sins that pinned Jesus on the ground. Yet he never gives up on us. He keeps going to assure us that God does not count how many times we fall but on how many times we get up when we fall.

Let us pray that we may obtain a truly repentant heart, sorrow for our sins and humility to come to reconciliation with our God and with one another in the sacrament of reconciliation.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Tenth Station:  Jesus is stripped of his garments.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: John 19:23-24

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfil what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.”

 

Reflection/ Prayer

Let us contemplate on Jesus as he experienced an utter indignity by stripping him of his clothes which had been his comfort and protection. Jesus is stripped of his security, comfort and dignity.

Let us pray for those people whose security is stripped by those who performed acts of terror, whose comfort is taken by those people in authority, and whose dignity is being trampled by the rich and the strong. That they may experience God’s comforting love in a more special way. Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.   All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: Lk 22:33-38

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing. And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”

 

 Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the hands and feet of Jesus nailed on the Cross. The hands that did all the miracles of healing, feeding, touching the untouchables, and the feet that walked over the earth preaching the Good News of the Kingdom are now nailed on the Cross, helpless and powerless.

Let us pray that we may become the hands and the feet of Jesus in the world as his living witnesses.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the Cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: Luke 23:44-49

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the great act of Jesus on the Cross—dying for the ones he loved, dying for his friends. Jesus, our Way, our Truth and our Life  gave up his own life for us to live. The one who showed us how to live a truly human life lay down his life in such humility and love, also taught a lesson how to die with dignity— to die for the beloved’s sake.

Let us pray for all our relatives and friends who have died, that they may now rest in peace and enjoy eternal life.                  Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Thirteenth Station: Jesus’ body is taken down from the Cross.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

 

Scripture Reading: John 19:38-40

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the dead body of Jesus being carefully prepared for its burial. Jesus’ body is prepared for burial in such care, respect and love by the people who loved him and stayed by him in faith to the end. His dead body assures us now that though our bodies may die, we will rise again in glory with Jesus if remain faithful to him until the end of our earthly life.

Let us pray that we may respect, value, uphold and cherish human life from its conception to its natural death.                         Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

 

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.   All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Fourteenth Station: Jesus’ body is laid in the tomb.

Leader: We adore you O Christ and we bless you.

All: Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.

Scripture Reading: Mark 15:46-47

Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joset saw where the body was laid.

 

Reflection/Prayer

Let us contemplate on the dead body of Jesus being laid in its resting place. For and in Jesus, the tomb became a gateway to the resurrection.

Let us pray that our hope for the resurrection may be sustained, our desire for heaven may grow even more and our dream of eternal life and happiness may be realized for us in heaven.

Our Father…Hail Mary…Glory Be…

Leader: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.           All: Have mercy on us sinners.

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Concluding Prayer

Father, we thank you for the gift of your only Son Jesus Christ who showed us how much you loved us, who assured us how much you care for us by dying in order  for us to live. Grant, we humbly pray that we may have the courage to stand up for the truth, to be true to ourselves before you, to be obedient to your will and to be loving to one another. We ask this through Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.   

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