Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery ~ Jesus Carries His Cross


This is bronze sculpture was created by Australian artist Peter Schipperheyn. Notice that Jesus is surrounded by darkness. It's as if he is carrying his cross into the darkest night, the darkest human night, but he is shiny and bright.
"O Christ our saviour, shed your light upon the path I have to tread, that I may keep it without stumbling and without faltering and come in the end to see you face to face in the heavenly kingdom. Amen."
The face of Jesus is very beautiful. He is perhaps resting in the peace of what he has set out to do, which is to love the world to the very end. One monk defines love as yielding self-interest for the good of the other. In the film The Passion of the Christ, as Jesus begins the walk to Calvary along with the two thieves, the taunting begins at once with one thief shouting at Jesus, "You fool, why do you hug your cross?" Today we might hear:
  • "You fool, the baby is Down Syndrome; why would you keep the pregnancy?"
  • "You fool, why do you even care about them?"
  • "You fool, what's in it for you?"
  • "You fool, they don't even know what minimum wage is."
  • "You fool, no one will ever know."




Our Father, Who art in heaven...

Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, helped Jesus to carry the cross to Calvary. Years later these sons of Simon became esteemed Christians. Maximilian Kolbe, the martyr of Auschwitz said, the smallest act of kindness ripples to eternity.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

While Jesus bore the real burden of the cross, he is pleased for my cooperation and contribution. Like Simon, I help Jesus to carry the cross by patiently accepting difficulties and challenges and in my solidarity with others in their own sorrow and disappointment.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Saint John tells us that Jesus carried the cross on his own shoulders. There is no part of Jesus' journey to Calvary that is without sacrifice. Discipleship is walking with Christ to the changing of my heart. It is no part-time or weekend event.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

There is a moment when a mother holds her newborn and their eyes lock onto each other for the first time. It is an occasion of recognition and identification. Likely Jesus and Mary experienced that gaze again as they met in silence on the Calvary road. And I can share that occasion with Jesus too, when I generously carry my own small and great crosses alongside him.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Simon wasn't looking to help Jesus carry the cross. He was just coming home from work in the fields. God speaks through the Prophet Isaiah: I went to those who were not looking for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. Jesus knew me and loved me, long before I had any thoughts of him.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Small things matter to Jesus, like the little coins the widow put in the temple collection box. An extra-biblical account tells us that Veronica made the small gift of her towel to dry the wounded face of Jesus. Mother Teresa said, It's not how much you give, but how much love you put into the giving."

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Only love explains why Jesus is accepting such suffering for us. And in contemplating this love I am left silent. But Jesus himself taught us that love sums up the law and the prophets. Love is the new commandment and the mark that distinguishes the disciples of Jesus.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Fear has overcome the people who followed Jesus, who heard his teaching and witnessed his miracles. They have run away now. Oh, I know what a spoiler fear is. I must never allow fear to ruin my friendship with Jesus.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

The women who are crying on the road to Calvary were there also to give Jesus drugs to dull his pain. The soldiers will do the same at the top of the hill. But Jesus refuses. He chooses to be conscious. The price to get us back is very great.

Hail Mary, full of grace...

Surrounded by brutality, Jesus encounters a few friends as he carries the cross: the crying women, Veronica and Simon. I must learn from them. No one should be without a friend. Do I have eyes, but not see?
Hail Mary, full of grace...

Glory Be to the Father....
   


Our Lady's Mantle



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