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MEDITATIONS BY HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II

THIRD STATION

Jesus falls the first time.

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

From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:4-6

Surely he has borne 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 with his bruises we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

 

MEDITATION

Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross. He falls to the ground. He does not resort to his superhuman powers, he does not resort to the power of the angels. "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Mt 26:53). He does not ask for that. Having accepted the cup from the Father's hands (Mk 14:36) he is resolved to drink it to the end. This is as he wills it. And so he has no thoughts of any superhuman force, although such force is at his disposal. Those who saw him when he showed his power over human infirmities, crippling diseases and even death itself, may well, in their grief, have wondered: "What now?" "Is he repudiating all that?" In a few days the disciples on the road to Emmaus would say: "We had hoped" (cf. Lk 24:21). "If you are the Son of God...." (Mt 27:40), the members of the Sanhedrin were to fling at him. And the crowd would yell: "He saved others but he cannot save himself" (Mk 15:31: Mt 27:42).
He accepts these provocations, which seem to undermine the whole meaning of his mission, his teaching, his miracles. He accepts them all, for he is determined not to combat them. To be insulted is what he wills. To stagger and fall under the weight of Cross is what he wills. He wills it all. To the end, down to the bitter end, he is faithful to what he had said: "Not my will, but yours be done" (cf. Mk 14:36, etc.).
God will bring forth the salvation of humanity from Christ's falling beneath the weight of the Cross.

ACCLAMATION

Jesus, meek lamb, Redeemer,
you bear the sin of the world.
R.
Kyrie, eleison.

Jesus, our companion at times of suffering,
you share in our human weakness.
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.

O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta
mater Unigeniti!

 

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