“When Christ returned he found the apostles asleep. He said to Peter, 'Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:37-38). May we have a good prayer life so that we will be ready for the test. Sooner or later, it will come. Other options include reading and reflecting during the recitation of this decade on Psalm 27:1-3,7-14; 140:5-6; 141:2-5; Matthew 26:36-27:25; Mark 14:32-15:14; Luke 22:39-23:15; John 18:1-40
Psalm 69:8-22,31-35; Isaiah 50:4-9; 52:13-15; 53:1-3; Matthew 27:27-31; Mark 15:16-20; John 15:18-20.
- When we are criticized and even condemned publicly, may we act with dignity, grace, love, and faith in God as Christ did. Wisdom 2:12-22; Matthew 26:57-68; 27:11-26; Mark 14:53-65; 15:1-15; Luke 22:66-23:25; John 18:19-24; 28-40; 19:1-16.
- As Christ accepted His cross, may we accept our daily crosses and offer them up to the Lord (John 19:17).
- (Also 7th & 9th Station) Each time that we fall, may we have the perseverance to pick ourselves up and keep going. The shroud shows evidence of extensive bruises that would be caused by falls. Any time that we fall into sin, may we get up quickly, say a prayer of sincere sorrow, and go to confession as soon as possible if serious. Most spiritual directors recommend monthly confession to facilitate growth in virtue. The future St. John Paul II went to confession every week.
- Mary accompanied her son on the entire way of the cross, suffering together with Him the whole time with intense love, tenderness, dignity, strength, and grace, trusting in the will of the Father in His plan for our salvation and knowing that the glory of the resurrection will come. May these qualities motivate us to embrace Mary as our mother. (Genesis 3:15; Lamentations 2:13)
- May we be willing to help others carry their crosses as Simon of Cyrene did (Matthew 27:32; Mark 15:20-22; Luke 23:26).
- (Also 8th Station) May we have the compassion of Veronica and the women of Jerusalem (Luke 23:27-31). When we help the least of these, we do it for Christ as Veronica did. (Matthew 25:37-40).
- "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). May we forgive as Christ did on the cross.
- The good thief said: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" (Luke 23:39-43). Christ showed his mercy to the good thief in his last moments. May we also show mercy to others.
- "Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman, behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother.' And from that hour the disciple took her into his home" (John 19:25-27). Thus Christ gave us himself in the Eucharist on Holy Thursday; salvation on Good Friday; and even His mother from the cross. Later when the centurion pierced the dead redeemer's side and heart with his lance, some speculate that was the very moment when Mary's heart was pierced by a sword as prophesied by Simeon some 33 years earlier (Luke 2:35).
- After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst” (John 19:28). Our Savior ardently thirsts for sinners to come back to Him.
- "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34). To not feel the presence of His father was Christ's greatest suffering. May we always crave to feel the presence of God even though He is always there.
- “It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit (John 19:30). These last words were of triumph. Christ accomplished His mission from the Father and opened the gates of Heaven for us. May our deaths also be moments of triumph.
- "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last (Luke 23:46). May we also resign ourselves to the will of God. With faith and trust in God, all things work out for the best in the long run.
When the soldier pierced the side of Christ, blood and water flowed out (John 19:34). They symbolize the blood of the Eucharist and the purifying water of Baptism.Doctors have written articles on the medical aspects of the Christ's passion and can only conclude that Christ had tremendous endurance and superhuman strength to bear it all and stay alive for as long as He did. See www.evangelicaloutreach.org/crucifix.htm, www.ldolphin.org/kwells9.html,God allowed this scandalous travesty to happen for a higher good......to make reparation for our sins and thus make possible our salvation and eternal happiness in heaven. He loved us so much with such great mercy that He sent his only begotten son to save us from our sins and open the gates of heaven for us. May we remember that suffering will make saints out of us if accepted as Christ did and united with His cross as we offer it all up to God for the Church, the missions, a better world and for our loved ones.
Other options are to read and reflect on Psalm 16:9-10; 22:2-3, 7-20; 30:2-6; 31:2-6, 10-16; Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Matthew 27:34-66; Mark 11:32-34; 15:23-47; Luke 23:33-56; John 3:13-21; 19:18-42; Romans 5:19; Philippians 2:6-11; Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9; 1Peter1:17-19; 2:19-25.
For meditations on the Joyful, Luminous, and Glorious Mysteries, go to Blogs #50, 73, and 84.