As we get closer to Jesus' Crucifixion, let's continue on our walk.
At the Fourth Station of the Cross, Jesus meets his mother. Mary is a beacon of hope, of peace, and of a great big "yes" to God's Will. Jesus meets his mother again on this path after he has already fallen and in her he finds that trust and hope that we so fervently search for. Even in the horror of this moment, Jesus and Mary know God's peace because they've followed God's Will.
At the Fifth Station, Simon is asked to help Jesus to carry his Cross. Jesus is weak and frail at this point and he needs help to carry this burden. How many times have we fallen beneath the weight of a heavy load? We all need help sometimes, and Jesus was no different. In his prefect humility, he accepted help from Simon, knowing he would need it to carry out God's Will.
At the Sixth Station, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. Here Jesus is, carrying this heavy load with Simon's help, splattered with blood and spit, mocked, humiliated, beaten down, rejected, hated by the people who he is about to save. And she takes pity on him. As a true disciple, she wipes the blood, sweat, and spit from his face. In this moment, she and all others can truly see him. Even in this mockery and pain, Jesus is still the Son of God and in his humility he stays true to his place as a servant and obedient to God's Will.
At the Seventh Station, Jesus falls again. This second time, even with Simon's help, Jesus is even more exhausted and weak. He is on his way physically to death not just by the path he's taking, but by how he's taking the path. His is not a peaceful death, not a gradual aging, but a horrible agony. But he is helped up and he walks on after this second fall, because it's God's Will.
God's Will is the only thing that Jesus followed through the Stations of the Cross. He didn't follow human rules or expectations or abstract theological laws. He knew that God wanted this suffering from him, and he willingly suffered.
Jesus met with his mother along his walk so they could share their last moment before he gave her to us as a mother.
Jesus humbled himself in receiving help to carry his cross because he sought to experience our needs and struggles so that he could love and carry us ever more faithfully.
Jesus accepted blood, sweat, and spit to be the ultimate sacrifice for us. He became so lowly and then let himself be wiped clean, giving his humility and love to Veronica, allowing her to help him just as he allowed Simon to. Because he desires to be one with us and in accepting these people along his most painful journey.
Jesus fell even after being helped. He is torn apart, exhausted, whipped, and beaten. He is humiliated and mocked. And he gets up again to finish the journey. Not because it's good for his health. Not because he had something to prove to the onlookers. But because his greatest desire was to save you, and he knew the only way to do so would be to follow God's Will wherever it leads.
We adore you,
O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy
cross you have redeemed the world.