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MEDITATIONS BY HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II

FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death.

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R.
Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Mark. 15:14-15

But the crowd shouted all the more, "Crucify him".
So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd,
released for them Barabbas;
and having scourged Jesus,
he delivered him to be crucified.

MEDITATION

Pilate's verdict was pronounced under pressure from the priests and the crowd. The sentence of death by crucifixion was meant to calm their fury and meet their clamorous demand: "Crucify him! Crucify him!" (Mk 15:13-14). The Roman praetor thought he could dissociate himself from the sentence, washing his hands of it, just as he had already distanced himself from Christ's words identifying his Kingdom with the truth, and with witness to the truth (Jn 18:38). In both instances Pilate was trying to preserve his own independence, to remain somehow "uninvolved". So it may have seemed to him, on the surface. But the Cross to which Jesus of Nazareth was condemned (Jn 19:16), like the truth he told about his Kingdom (Jn 18:36-37), had to strike deep into the Roman praetor's soul. All this was, and is, a single reality, in the face of which one cannot remain uninvolved, on the sidelines.
When Jesus, the Son of God, was questioned about his Kingdom and, because of this, was judged guilty by men and condemned to death, his final testimony began: he was about to demonstrate that "God so loved the world..." (cf. Jn 3:16).
We have this testimony before us, and we realize that we are not allowed to wash our hands of it.

 

ACCLAMATION

Jesus of Nazareth, condemned to death on the Cross,
faithful witness to the love of the Father.
R.
Kyrie, eleison.

Jesus, Son of God, obedient to the will of the Father,
even unto death on a Cross.
R.
Kyrie, eleison.


All:

Pater noster, qui es in caelis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Stabat Mater dolorosa,
iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.

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