Manual Into His Hands: Way Of The Cross

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Eleventh Station Jesus is nailed to the Cross. Our society proclaims equal rights and dignity for all human beings. Yet it practises and tolerates inequality. It even accepts extreme forms of inequality. Men, women and children are bought and sold like slaves by the new traders in human lives.

Was Jesus really nailed to the cross?

The victims of trafficking are then exploited by others. And in the end, they are cast aside, discarded as worthless goods. How many people are growing rich by devouring the flesh and blood of the poor? Lord, how many men and women even today are nailed to a cross, victims of brutal exploitation, stripped of dignity, freedom and hope for the future! Their cry for help challenges us as individuals, as governments, as society and as Church.

How is it possible that we continue to crucify you by our complicity in the trafficking of human beings? Give us eyes to see and a heart to feel the suffering of all those who today too are nailed to a cross by our systems of life and consumption. Twelfth Station Jesus dies on the Cross. On the cross, Lord, you too bore the weight of scorn, mockery, insults, violence, abandonment and indifference.

Only Mary, your Mother, and a few other women stayed with you as witnesses to your suffering and death. May their example inspire in us a commitment to stand by all those dying today on Calvaries throughout the world: in transit camps, on boats denied entry to safe ports, in shelters, hot spots and camps for seasonal workers, amid protracted negotiations about their final destination. Teach us to wipe away their tears, to comfort them, even as you were consoled by the presence of Mary and the other women beneath your cross. Thirteenth Station Jesus is taken down from the cross.

In this era of news flashes, who remembers those twenty-six young Nigerian women who drowned and whose funerals were held in Salerno? Their Calvary was lengthy and difficult.

First the crossing of the Sahara desert, crammed in ramshackle buses. Then their forced stay in frightful detention centres in Libya. Two of them were bearing in their womb the gift of a new life, children who would never see the light of day. Yet their death, like that of Jesus taken down from the Cross, was not in vain.

We entrust all these lives to the mercy of God our Father and the Father of all, especially the poor, the desperate and the abased. Only five of those women have been identified. Nameless or not, all of them are our daughters and sisters. All deserve respect and remembrance. They appeal to us — our institutions, our authorities and each of us — to accept responsibility for our silence and indifference.

Fourteenth Station Jesus is laid in the tomb. The desert and the seas have become the new cemeteries of our world. These deaths leave us speechless. Yet responsibility has to be taken. People let their brothers and sisters die: men, women, children that we could not, or would not, save.

While governments, closed off in their palaces of power, debate, the Sahara is filled with the bones of men and women who could not survive exhaustion, hunger and thirst. How much pain is involved in these new exoduses! How much cruelty is inflicted on those fleeing their homelands: in their desperate journeys, in the extortion and tortures they endure, in the sea that becomes a watery grave.

Lord, make us realize that we are all children of one Father. May the death of your Son Jesus grant to the leaders of nations and lawmakers consciousness of the role they must play in the defence of every person created in your image and likeness. We would like to recount the story of Favour, a nine-month old baby, who left Nigeria together with her young parents who sought a better future in Europe.

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During the long and dangerous journey in the Mediterranean, her father and mother died along with hundreds of other people who had relied on unscrupulous traffickers to come to the promised land. Only Favour survived; like Moses, she was saved from the waters. May her life become a light of hope on the path towards a more fraternal humanity. At the conclusion of your way of the cross, we ask you, Lord, to teach us to keep watch, together with your Mother and the women who stood by you on Calvary, in expectation of your resurrection. May it be a beacon of hope, joy, new life, fraternity, acceptance and communion among peoples, religions and systems of law.

So that all the sons and daughters of man will be truly recognized in their dignity as sons and daughters of God, and never again treated as slaves. You are using an outdated browser In order to deliver the greatest experience to our visitors we use cutting edge web development techniques that require a modern browser. Full text of Way of the Cross meditations. Vatican events. Download document. Prayer: Lord, how many mothers even today share the experience of your Mother, as they weep for the fate of their daughters and sons? Prayer: We thank you Lord because by your own life, you have taught us how to show genuine and selfless love for others, especially for our enemies or simply those who are different from ourselves.

Prayer : Lord, we thank you for all those new Samaritans of the third millennium who, today too, can be found on our streets, stooping with love and compassion over the many physical and spiritual wounds of those who live every night in fear and the terror of darkness, loneliness and indifference. Prayer: Mary, at this very moment, you experience the same tragedy as all those mothers who suffer for their children who set out for other countries with the hopes of a better future for themselves and their families, but sadly find humiliation, contempt, violence, indifference, loneliness and even death.

Prayer: For all the Cyreneans of our history, that they may never falter in their desire to welcome you in the least of our brothers and sisters, in the knowledge that in welcoming the poorest members of our society, we welcome you. Prayer: Lord Jesus, cleanse our eyes so that we can see your face in our brothers and sisters, especially in all those children who, in many parts of the world, are living in poverty and squalor.

And why was Jesus killed that way? Crucifixion was a Roman method of punishment. Suspended from a large cross, a victim would eventually die from asphyxiation or exhaustion — it was long, drawn-out, and painful. It was used to publicly humiliate slaves and criminals not always to kill them , and as an execution method was usually reserved for individuals of very low status or those whose crime was against the state.

Crucifixion could be carried out in a number of ways. In Christian tradition, nailing the limbs to the wood of the cross is assumed, with debate centring on whether nails would pierce hands or the more structurally sound wrists. But Romans did not always nail crucifixion victims to their crosses, and instead sometimes tied them in place with rope.

In fact, the only archaeological evidence for the practice of nailing crucifixion victims is an ankle bone from the tomb of Jehohanan , a man executed in the first century CE. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all include the crucifixion event in their own slightly different ways.

The Stations of the Cross

None of the Gospels in the New Testament mentions whether Jesus was nailed or tied to the cross. The Gospel of Peter , a non-canonical gospel from the first or second century CE, specifically describes in verse 21 how after Jesus had died, the nails were removed from his hands. The Gospel of Peter also famously includes the cross itself as an active character in the Passion narrative. Over the past few years, several people have claimed to have found the actual nails with which Jesus was crucified. Each time, biblical scholars and archaeologists have rightly pointed out the assumptions and misinterpretations of evidence behind these claims.

The Bible does not mention Veronica. Luke is often quoted as a source for the legend because it mentions a large multitude, among which there are women beating their breasts and wailing. The name Veronica comes from the Latin words vera, meaning true, and icon, meaning image. Hieronymus Bosch also made a passion work about Veronica. Martin Schongauer. The Bible does not mention Jesus tripping, collapsing or falling.

It is not unlikely that these details were added to underline the severity of the relatively short trip, and serve to illustrate the gigantic burden of the sins of all mankind that Jesus had taken onto himself. Peter Paul Rubens. Luke : But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, don't weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children [ So it could be taken to mean: 'Do not mourn now, save your tears for when things will be worse. John : The soldiers took his garments [.. They cast lots for a part of them. Andrea Mantegna. Before he dies, he speaks: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing Luke Crucifixion was not an unusual punishment in those days.

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The Romans would leave the deceased hanging on the cross as a prey for scavengers. A certain Joseph of Arimathea is granted permission by Pilate to bury the body of Christ. John claims that this Joseph was a secret follower of Jesus: John [