Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Via Crucis Grid Blog: Stations VII & VIII

The Via Crucis Grid Blog continues.




Station VII: Jesus Falls the Second Time

Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up. Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10
The way has a rhythm, it is marked by falls. The body weakened and weakened, the trip, the stumble. Is he solitary? Is there anyone to help him up?

The frustration being too weak to walk even to one's own execution. The taste of dirt, mixing with the blood from cuts and dusty sweat. Woe to the solitary man.

Feet bleeding, the cross heavy even with the aid of the stranger. Friends and apostles are nowhere to be seen, only the scourge of the soldier as all Jerusalem watches him stumble towards his death. Woe to the solitary man.

Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.


Daily Via Crucis bloggers: Renee, Mike, Argent, Best & Worst, Shawn, Joseph, Kat, Rick, Stephanie, Karen
Station VII bloggers: Annie, Jonathon, Jason, PmPilgrim



Station VIII: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?" Luke 23:28-31
Often I hear this station referred to as "Jesus consoles the daughters of Jerusalem," and I must say there is very little that is consoling in his words. What he says is terrifying, and we must remember that Christ's path of love, compassion and forgiveness never becomes soft and easy. The radical Gospel of Jesus can be both liberating and frightening and it can be challenging to reconcile the Jesus who assures us that even the sparrows will be provided for with the Jesus who warns of cataclysm.

He was right. Jerusalem would fall to Titus in some forty years' time. How many more tragedies have people had to bear? The plagues that cut down nations, the wars, the genocides of Germany and Rwanda, how many times have people said, "Blessed are the barren"? Jesus could teach us peace, but he would not keep us from the wars we brought on ourselves.

Christ can be scary. "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." I'm not always sure what to make of him. Sometimes perhaps we should be astonished, as his apostles were when he said it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. "Who then can be saved?" they asked. "With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," he replied. Before the horrors of the world and before even the fear of God's infinite justice, we must remember God' infinite mercy. With him all things are possible.

Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.

Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.

Daily Via Crucis bloggers: Renee, Mike, Argent, Best & Worst, Shawn, Joseph, Kat, Rick, Stephanie, Karen
Station VIII bloggers: Dry Bones Dance, Jonathon, Jason, Michelle

3 comments:

crystal said...

The frustration being too weak to walk even to one's own execution.

One of the things I remember from the Passion of the Christ movie was a point where Simon, helong Jesus with the cross, tries to encourage him, though he's so weak. But the only hope he can offer to get Jesus up from a fall, is to tell him it will all be over, if he can just keep going a little longer ... heartbreaking.

I notice that scary elemnt in Jesus too ... I keep rationalizing it away because it disturbs me, but I think it's important to understand.

Paula said...

Hi Crystal and Liam,
Allow me to share few thoughts with you...

I think that what Jesus said about the sword should be considered in the context of the whole fragment...the message of the Gospels is a radical one and those who follow it are often misunderstood by others...from here the conflict, the "sword".

Liam you wrote:it can be challenging to reconcile the Jesus who assures us that even the sparrows will be provided for with the Jesus who warns of cataclysm

Well, I think that God would provide the world with all IF we would allow Him to do so, but this is not the case..People´s free will often bare the way for the grace of God...Yes, even rich people can be saved IF they turn to God´s mercy...but how often they do?I think that the thirst for material possesions is a severe spiritual affliction, and very difficult to overcome...Jesus knew this...God do not condemn rich people, rich people turn from God and from God´s mercy, because in their richness think on themselves as self-sufficient.

About the destruction of Jerusalem...I think that Jesus warned of an entirely human made disaster. He was just able to see what the consequences of a certain political and social situation would be.He saw also that it is little chance that the people will take decisions that would be able to change a disaster that was "in the air".His own execution was a proof that people´s hearts were hardened and unable to change...

English is not my native toungue, so sorry for the eventual mistakes.:-).

Liam, this post was also good food for thought and soul.Thank you for making this effort.

Liam said...

Thank you, Paula. You express yourself very well in English. I think you are right about the context of what is said, and furthermore I think he assures of God's mercy as much as he threatens us with his justice.

Crystal -- You're right, we do tend to rationalize this part of Jesus' teachings (the same way fire and brimstone Christians rationalize all his words about loving one's enemy) and we do need to try to understand it.