Way of the Cross

Author: NA

One year, during Lent, our children (ages 10, 8, and 5) looked at several versions of The Way of the Cross. They decided, for their Lenten school project, to put together one of their own. The following is the result. We have shared it with our friends each Friday during Lent. It has been well received, even by non-Catholics. We hope you enjoy their efforts. We do have it put together in a booklet form with graphics for each station. If you would like a copy, please send $1 to cover costs of printing and postage to: The Mustard Seed Press 5228 Highway 66 North Rogersville, TN 37857 The Way of the Cross At the cross her station keeping, stood the mournful mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last. Through her heart, is sorrow sharing, all His bitter anguish bearing. Now at length the sword has passed. The First Station: Jesus is condemned to death (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: Pilate said to the Jews, "Behold, your king!" They cried out, "Take him away! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar." Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. (Jn 19:14-16) Jesus: Since we left the Garden last night, I've been accused by the scribes and elders. I've been brought before the High Priest in an illegal trial. I've been dragged to Herod's palace. I've been mocked and spat upon by the soldiers. They want Me to die. Pilate had asked what to do with their king and the crowd answered 'Crucify Him!' Reader 2: Christ suffered for me. He gave me an example to follow, so I should do as He did. He did not sin, He never lied, people teased Him but He did not tease them in return. Prayer: My Jesus, it was not Pilate, but my sins that condemned You to die. Help me to accept my own death at the time and in whatever way it comes. O, how sad and sore distressed was that mother, highly blessed, of the sole Begotten One. The Second Station: Jesus takes up His cross. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha. (Jn 19:16-17) Jesus: When he brought Me in front of the crowd, Pilate said: 'Ecce Homo!': 'Look what you have done to this Man!' But there seems to be another voice speaking as well. The voice seems to say: 'Look what you have done to this man, to your God.' Reader 2: Christ carried my sins in His body on the cross. He did this so that I might stop living for sin, and do what is right. I am healed because of His wounds. Prayer: My beloved Jesus, I thank you for all the things You have planned for me until my death, even those things that will be hard for me. The road is narrow, but I know it leads to heaven and I know You will be with me, as You promised, until the end of time. Christ above in torment hangs. She beneath beholds the pangs of her dying, glorious Son. The Third Station: Jesus falls the first time. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: Stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested Him. One of those with Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear. Jesus said, "Put your sword back into its sheath. All who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and He will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels? But how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?" (Mt 26:51-54) Jesus: The cross beam is so heavy and painful. Am I so weak from the beatings I received, or is the burden too heavy for me to bear? As I stumble beneath its weight, do you think I might feel an urge to call out to you for help? But I do not call for help, because God's love for humanity commanded this sacrifice. I obey Him because I, too, love you so dearly. Reader 2: When I am punished for doing wrong, there is no reason to praise me for bearing the punishment. If I suffer for doing good, and I am patient, that pleases God. Prayer: My beloved Jesus, not the weight of the cross, but my sins made You suffer so much pain. And Your love for me gives You the strength to go on. Is there one who would not weep, 'whelmed in miseries so deep Christ's dear Mother to behold. The Fourth Station: Jesus meets His mother. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: Simeon blessed them saying to Mary his mother, "This child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted. You, yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Lk 2:34-35) Jesus: I meet My mother along the way of the cross. I can tell from the look in her eyes that My cross has become her cross. My humiliation becomes her humiliation. Perhaps she remembers the words of Simeon when I was dedicated in the Temple according to the Law. Reader 2: I see Mary in the midst of the Passion. She was closest to Jesus on earth. How often she must have gone over the events of His life in her thoughts. She felt what Jesus was feeling more than anyone else. It must have been like she was crucified with Him. How much she loves Jesus, and how much she must also love us to observe His pain and torment without protest. I look to her for help to grow closer to Jesus. Prayer: My most loving Jesus, by the sorrow You experienced in this meeting, grant me the grace of a truly devoted love for Your most holy mother. Allow me to see You through her eyes of love. Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain-- in that mother's pain untold? The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mk 15:21) Jesus: I am getting weaker and weaker, so Simon of Cyrene is pulled out of the crowd to help carry the cross because the soldiers were afraid I would not make it to Calvary. In the confusion, Simon of Cyrene appears at My side as if it were you. Reader 2: When I see someone who needs help, even if I don't know them, let me think about what Simon did. His family was rewarded because of what he did. His sons, Rufus and Alexander, knew what their father had done and they believed in Jesus. Later they became leaders in the church. Prayer: My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse my cross. I will take it and thank You. Give me the strength and compassion to help others in their time of need and bring them to know about Your mercy. Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child all with bloody scourges rent. The Sixth Station: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: The king will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me . . . whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me." (Mt 25:34-36; 40) Jesus: The steep, narrow streets are hot and dusty. The dust kicked up from the street gets in My eyes and nose. I can taste the dirt. But I keep going. A lady pushes past the soldiers and wipes My face with a cold wet towel. Reader 2: There are times when I am afraid to reach out to others. I do nothing when I should act. I say nothing when I should speak. I need deeper and more courageous faith to trust that God is with me. In fact, Jesus leaves His image on every single act of love like He did for Veronica. Prayer: My dear Jesus, Your face was lovely before You began this journey, but it no longer appears beautiful just as the beauty of my soul is soiled by my sins. For the sins of His own nation saw Him hang in desolation till His Spirit forth He sent. The Seventh Station: Jesus falls the second time. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: People stood by and watched; the rulers sneered at Him saying, "He saved others, let him save Himself if He is the Chosen One, the Messiah of God." Soldiers jeered at Him . . . "If You are King of the Jews, save Yourself." (Lk 23:35-37) I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see Me mock Me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at Me: "You relied on the Lord let Him deliver You; if He loves You, let Him rescue You." (Ps 22:7-9) Jesus: Since My first fall, I have met some--you, My mother, Simon, and Veronica--who have supported and comforted Me. In spite of their refreshing care, I stumble and the taunts of the crowd start again. But I get up and go on because I love you, and them, so dearly. Reader 2: If God is with me, then no one can defeat me, no matter how much they tease and make fun of me. Even God's own Son suffered for me. Prayer: My most gentle Jesus, how many times You have forgiven me, how many times I have fallen again and begun again and offended You? Give me grace so that in all my temptations, I will always turn to You. I love You Jesus with all my heart. I am sorry that I have offended You. O sweet mother! fount of love, touch my spirit from above make my heart with yours accord. The Eighth Station: Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented. Jesus turned to them saying, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; [but] for yourselves and for your children." (Lk 23:27-28) Jesus: I see you weeping for Me. Let Me ask you: Do you feel guilty or do you feel pity for Me? What I want is not these, but your heart, your mind, and your life. Show Me your love by loving others more than yourself. Reader 2: Jesus stopped to comfort others even when He was suffering so much. Could I reach out to someome else even when I am hurting or in trouble? I feel sorry and selfish when I think of the way He loves. I need to pour out my love and be filled with His love. Prayer: My Jesus, weighed down with sorrows, I weep for the sins which I have committed against You, because of the punishment which I deserve for them, but even more so because of the displeasure they have caused You who has loved me with infinite love. Make me feel as you have felt make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ, my Lord. The Ninth Station: Jesus falls the third time. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: He said to them, "My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me." He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as You will." When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, "So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mt 26:38-41) Jesus: For the third time, I fall to the ground. My sweat, blood and tears blend with the dust of the earth just as they did last night in the Garden of Gethsemani. I know how weak human flesh can be. It takes all of My strength and will to go on, but I do because I love you so very much. Reader 2: Who is this Who has fallen? I don't expect God to act this way, but There is so much in Jesus' life and teachings that is not as I expect God to be. He has chosen to go through it all for me! Prayer: My Jesus, by the weakness You suffered going to Calvary, give me enough strength to ignore other people's opinions and my own weaknesses which have led me away from Your friendship. Holy mother, pierce me through, in my heart each pain renew of my Savior crucified. The Tenth Station: Jesus is stripped of his clothes. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes dividing them into four shares, one for each soldier. They took his tunic which was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down. They said to each other, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be." (Jn 19:23-24) Jesus: The soldiers ripped off the clothes they threw on Me after they beat Me at Pilate's palace. All My wounds are torn open again. As I hang naked on the cross, little did they know that I was about to perform the greatest miracle of all time--the salvation of the world. Reader 2: As Jesus is stripped of His clothes, I know I need to always be aware that I must keep my body and soul pure and clean. I must work to stay pure in my thoughts, words, and actions rather than give in to the world's view of things which encourages vanity and giving in to all our desires no matter how sinful they may be. Prayer: My innocent Jesus, by the torments You endured by being stripped of Your garments, help me to strip myself of my attachment toward the things of earth so that I may place all my love in You Who are most worthy of my love. Let me share with you His pain, Who for all our sins was slain, Who for me in torments died. The Eleventh Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." (Lk 23:33-34) Jesus The nails piercing My hands and feet as I hang on the cross become My only means of support. Your hands support Me in this final hour when you reach out to help others and when you forgive those who have hurt you. Reader 2: I can never doubt Jesus' great love for me when I see Him crucified. I know He gave His life freely for my salvation. He forgave the soldiers even before they had finished their vile work, and even though they did not ask for it. How much more is He willing to forgive me when I am truly sorry for offending Him? Prayer: My despised Jesus, nail my heart, mind, and soul to the cross. May I always be there to love You and never leave You again. Let me mingle tears with thee mourning Him who mourned for me, all the days that I may live. The Twelfth Station: Jesus dies on the cross. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: At noon darkness covered the whole land . . . At three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?": "My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?" Some said, "He is calling Elijah." One soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him saying, "Let us see if Elijah comes to take him down." Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mk 15:33- 39) Jesus: As I hang suspended between heaven and earth My eyes and mind clear for one final look at My creation. I see My Mother; whom I love with a special love. I see the disciple whom I love, I ask you take care of My mother. Recall how I said that anyone who does the will of My Father is mother, and brother, and sister to Me. I see each of you; I love you with an everlasting love. Remember that I love you even to My death on the cross. Reader 2: Do you remember to take some time each day to think about what Jesus did for you and to thank Him for His wonderful love? Take some time right now to speak to Jesus in your own words. Tell Him of your love for Him (pause for a few moments) . . . . . . . . Prayer: My dying Jesus, I deserve, because of my sins, a terrible death, but Your death is my hope. May I die embracing Your cross, burning with love for You, no matter what it costs. By the Cross with you to stay, there with you to weep and pray, this I ask of you to give. The Thirteenth Station: Jesus is taken down from the cross. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: In order that the bodies not remain on the cross on the Sabbath, which was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that . . . they be taken down . . . the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus . . . they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead. They did not break his legs . . . one soldier thrust his lance into his side, immediately blood and water flowed out . . . Joseph of Arimathea . . . asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus . . . Pilate permitted it. So he came and took His body. Nicodemus . . . also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes . . . They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices, according to the Jewish burial custom. (Jn 19:31-40) Jesus: I was roughly put on the cross. Now I am gently removed from it and placed, for one last time, in My mother's arms. Perhaps she thinks of those times when she tenderly held Me as a Baby. Perhaps she thinks about the terrible work of the sins of mankind and of the Trinity's infinite love for human beings. Reader 2: If only I can learn to see all the good things about people while they are alive. I need to care for them and see that they are happy while they are alive. Prayer: Jesus my Redeemer, since You died for me, allow me to love You, for I desire only You and nothing more. Virgin of all virgins blest! Listen to my fond request: Let me share your grief divine. The Fourteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen, laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock, rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed. (Mt 27:57-60) Jesus: At last My place of rest is reached. You have kindly wrapped My body in a cloth and placed it in Joseph's tomb. But you know this is not the end of the story. I came to bring you hope, not despair. Reader 2: I cannot bury my hope in Jesus' grave. No matter how hard things seem to be, they could not be more difficult than what Jesus faced in His life. Despite all His suffering, it came out all right--more than all right: He won the greatest victory ever! Prayer: Oh, my buried Jesus, I am sad while You are in the tomb, but I know that You have left us with hope. Christ, when You shall call me hence, be Your mother my defense, be Your cross my victory. While my body here decays, may my soul Your goodness praise safe in heaven eternally. Amen. The Fifteenth Station: The Resurrection. (kneel) All: We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world. (rise) Reader 1: At daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them. They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, "Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day." They remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others. (Lk 24:1-9) Prayer: My risen Jesus, I know that You rose in glory on the third day. I beg You, by Your resurrection that I may rise gloriously to be united with You in heaven; to praise You and love You forever.