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San Agustin Church

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Third Station : Jesus falls for the first time.

 

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Fourth Station : Jesus meets His mother.

Third Station : Jesus falls for the first time.

Leader: We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:4-6 
Surely he has born our griefs  and carried our sorrows;  yet we esteemed him stricken,  smitten by God, and afflicted.   But he was wounded for our transgressions,  he was bruised for our iniquities;  upon him was the chastisement that made us whole,  and by his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray;  we have turned everyone to his own way;  and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

MEDITATION
Man has fallen, and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself, no longer the image of God, but a mockery of the Creator. Is not the man who, on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers who stripped him and left him half-dead and bleeding beside the road, the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus’ fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus, exhausted from his scourging. There is a more profound meaning in this fall, as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: “though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men... He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8). In Jesus’s fall beneath the weight of the Cross, the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement, which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. The nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves, the arrogance which makes us think that we do not need his eternal love, but can be the masters of our own lives. In this rebellion against truth, in this attempt to be our own god, creator and judge, we fall headlong and plunge into self-destruction. The humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride; by his abasement he lifts us up. Let us allow him to lift us up. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency, our false illusions of independence, and learn from him, the One who humbled himself, to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. The weight of our sin, the weight of our pride, brought you down. But your fall is not a tragedy, or mere human weakness. You came to us when, in our pride, we were laid low. The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise, to be bought and sold, or stored to provide parts for experimentation. In doing this, we hope to conquer death by our own efforts, yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity. Lord help us; we have fallen. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and, by learning from your humility, to rise again.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified.
All: Have mercy on Us.
Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
All: Amen.

Fourth Station : Jesus meets His mother.

Leader: We adore Thee, O Christ, and bless Thee.
All: Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

From the Gospel according to Luke. 2:34-35,51 
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: 
“Behold, this child is destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce through your own soul also.
Then he came down with them and went to Nazareth.  And his mother kept all these things in her heart.

MEDITATION
On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, we also find Mary, his Mother. During his public life she had to step aside, to make place for the birth of Jesus’ new family, the family of his disciples. She also had to hear the words: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?... Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is brother, and sister and mother” (Mt 12:48-50). Now we see her as the Mother of Jesus, not only physically, but also in her heart. Even before she conceived him bodily, through her obedience she conceived him in her heart. It was said to Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son. He will be great and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David” (Lk 1:31ff.). And she would hear from the mouth of the elderly Simeon: “A sword will pierce through your own soul” (Lk2:35). She would then recall the words of the prophets, words like these: “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was like a lamb that is led to slaughter” (Is 54:7). Now it all takes place. In her heart she had kept the words of the angel, spoken to her in the beginning: “Do not be afraid, Mary” (Lk 1:30). The disciples fled, yet she did not flee. She stayed there, with a Mother’s courage, a Mother’s fidelity, a Mother’s goodness, and a faith which did not waver in the hour of darkness: “Blessed is she who believed” (Lk 1:45). “Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8). Yes, in this moment Jesus knows: he will find faith. In this hour, this is his great consolation.

PRAYER

Holy Mary, Mother of the Lord, you remained faithful when the disciples fled. Just as you believed the angels incredible message – that you would become the Mother of the Most High, so too you believed at the hour of his greatest abasement. In this way, at the hour of the Cross, at the hour of the world’s darkest night, you became the Mother of all believers, the Mother of the Church. We beg you: teach us to believe, and grant that our faith may bear fruit in courageous service and be the sign of a love ever ready to share suffering and to offer assistance.

Our Father.... Hail Mary.... Glory Be to the Father....

Leader: Jesus Christ Crucified.
All: Have mercy on Us.
Leader: May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in peace.
All: Amen.