Friday, April 22, 2011

Seventh Station: The Second Fall

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people” (Ps 22:6). These words of the Psalm come to mind as we see Jesus fall to the ground a second time under the Cross.
Here in the dust of the earth lies the Condemned One. Crushed by the weight of his Cross. His strength drains away from him more and more. But with great effort he gets up again to continue his march.
To us sinners, what does this second fall say? More than the first one, it seems to urge us to get up, to get up again on our way of the cross.
Cyprian Norwid wrote: “Not behind us with the Saviour’s Cross, but behind the Saviour with our own Cross.” A brief saying, but one that conveys much truth. It explains how Christianity is the religion of the Cross.

It tells us that every person here below meets Christ who carries the Cross and falls under its weight.
In his turn, Christ, on the way to Calvary, meets every man and woman and, falling under the weight of the Cross, does not cease to proclaim the good news.
For two thousand years the gospel of the Cross has spoken to man.
For twenty centuries Christ, getting up again from his fall, meets those who fall.
Throughout these two millennia many people have learned that falling does not mean the end of the road.
In meeting the Saviour they have heard his reassuring words:
“My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
Comforted, they have gotten up again and brought to the world the word of hope which comes from the Cross.
Today, having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, we are called to penetrate more deeply the meaning of this encounter.
Our generation must pass on to future centuries the good news that we are lifted up again in Christ.


Lord Jesus Christ,
you fall under the weight of human sin
and you get up again in order to take it upon yourself and cancel it.
Give to us, weak men and women,
the strength to carry the cross of daily life
and to get up again from our falls,
so that we may bring to future generations
the Gospel of your saving power.
To you, O Jesus, our support when we are weak,
be praise and glory for ever.

--Pope John Paul II
Meditations for the Via Crucis
Good Friday 2000