A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross shown are in the Chapel at the Home of Compassion, Island Bay. They are backlit and made of handmade coloured float glass.
HOC Chapel

1. Jesus is Condemned to Death

Jesus, you knew why you went up to Jerusalem that final time. You asked your Father to “take the cup away” but accepted it anyway. During the long trial you stood, infuriating the temple establishment with your silent assertion that you were the Son of God. Pilate wanted to avoid condemning you, but they left him no choice. Then the Jews punished you physically in any way they could. Yet you stubbornly accepted your fate, condemned to death in order to set the world free from sin.

Lord, help me to stay just as firmly on the path you lead me on in life.


2. Jesus Takes up His Cross

Jesus, with your cross came the sins of the world. I can’t conceive of a greater load. Yet you bore it gladly, just as you bore your crown of thorns and your back ripped open by the scourge. What a heavy burden to carry up the hill to your certain death.

You said “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” That should make me afraid because my cross is heavy, loaded down with cares and woes. But you also said “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Lord, help me carry my cross as well as you carried yours.


3.  Jesus Falls for the First Time

The day is taking its toll on you, Lord, and the burden of our sin is too heavy, so you fall. But you pick yourself up as the soldiers prod you with their spears.

I fall, too. I have a sinful nature and there are so many temptations in my way - consumer advertising, internet, easy access to anything and everything that is not good for me. But you had the courage to get up in spite of the pain, so should I be able to with your help and example behind me.

Lord, give me the courage to do what is right.


4.  Jesus Meets His Mother

Mary looks on as you tread your weary way up the hill. What must she have been thinking and suffering, knowing that you were to die? Was she numb with shock, bewildered at what was happening? No mother wants to bury her child. But you comforted her when you met. Did she understand that you were dying to set the world free from sin, and not to worry because you would rise in three days?

Lord, help me to comfort those in need as you comforted your Mother.


5.  Simon the Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry His Cross

No one wanted to help you carry your Cross. So the soldiers forced Simon of Cyrene to help you, just so that you kept moving on up the hill. Your followers had deserted you, your twelve disciples too afraid to show their faces. But you gladly accepted help from a stranger plucked out of the crowd.

Lord, there have been times when have I not helped a friend in need, and refused the offer of help from a stranger. Forgive me for those times, and lead me to every opportunity to help others and accept help when it is offered.


6.  Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

Jesus, it must have touched your heart when your friend Veronica came forward and wiped your face free of blood from the thorns, dirt and sweat, temporarily relieving your agony. And how would she have felt, holding a cloth with a bloodied imprint of your face.

That makes me conscious of the times I have seen someone in agony and been able to help in a simple way. And also of the times Ihave been unable or unwilling to step forward and give them comfort.

Lord, help me to comfort the needy.


7.  Jesus Falls a Second Time

Jesus, on your knees in the dust, no one to help you. Tired, in agony, with still so far to carry this dreadful cross before the final agony.

Then I think of my own walk, and the times I have fallen. Being tired, under all sorts of modern pressures, and with no resistance to temptation, it is so easy to fall into old habits and even despair. Yet you picked yourself up again and so can I with your help.

Jesus, help me resist the temptations of this life.


8.  Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

When Jesus saw His women followers weeping for Him, he told them not to weep for Him but for themselves and their children, because He foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem which had finally refused the invitation of God. If they were doing this to Him, who was innocent, what would they do to the guilty?

The women cared about His suffering. How often have I sat back in my comfortable, safe country and not cared about suffering in other less safe parts of the world?

Lord, help me care about the suffering of others.


9.  Jesus Falls the Third Time

Stumble and fall. Stumble and fall. Stumble and fall. How often has that happened to me?

But I didn’t have the weight of the cross on my back, a huge hill to climb, crown of thorns on my head, whip marks all over my back, and my cross didn’t weigh the weight of the world’s sin. And I didn’t have the people I came to save jeering and cheering the soldiers on as they prodded me. Yet you got up again.

Lord, teach me that my burden is light and help me to get up again and again and again.


10.  Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

Jesus, you were laid bare for all the world to see, just as the scriptures foretold. This is the final humiliation. But to you it didn’t matter, because you had reached the end of your long walk with the cross. It was important that scripture be fulfilled, and you had nothing to hide any more. You were ready.

Lord, let me always be ready to be stripped bare and have nothing to hide from you.


11.  Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Jesus, the images of you on our crucifixes show three nails. The pain of having the nails driven through your hands (or wrists) couldn’t have been as bad because there were no bones, but having one rough nail driven through both insteps must have been terrible. If every hammer blow represented one of my sins, there weren’t enough hammer blows. Yet you have already forgiven the ones I have confessed. That leaves the ones I have not confessed.

Jesus, forgive my sins that drove in the nails.


12.  Jesus Dies on the Cross

Jesus, I am thinking of your last words on the cross. You forgave the repentant thief. You gave Mary and John into each other’s care, and in so doing we understand you gave the church into her motherly care. You asked your Father why He had abandoned you. Then you were able to say all was accomplished and you died. Darkness fell over the land, the temple veil was torn in two. With one single sacrifice, all sin was torn aside.

Lord, help me to understand how much love you had for me that you should die for me on that terrible cross.


13.  Jesus is Taken Down From the Cross

When I think about you being taken down from the Cross, Lord, my mind goes back to the first time I entered St Peter’s in Rome and saw the “Pieta”. I stood there and wept for Mary and myself, just as I want to weep now with a mixture of gratitude for your sacrifice and sharing in your Blessed Mother’s grief. But we know that your resurrection gave us new hope of eternal life.

Lord, help us to weep for the grieving, and to give them hope that their loved ones are with You in paradise.


14.  Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

Jesus, when I think of you being placed in the tomb, all I can think of is the desolation in the hearts of your followers. You are gone without fulfilling their hopes. What are they going to do now? Three years they have been following you - for what? Their hope is gone.

For parts of my life I have been following you too, and have felt the desolation of those I love being placed in the grave. But we know that you rose again to give us hope of life after death.

Thank you, Jesus, for your sacrifice of love.




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