by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
Introduction: a life's journey to glory
As with his disciples long ago, today Jesus Christ invites us to go with him on a life’s journey to glory. Those who accept the invitation find that the path begins on the road to Calvary: “Take up your cross and follow me.”
When Jesus first spoke of suffering to his followers, they felt afraid. They were like us in wishing for comfortable, untroubled lives. In taking up his cross, Jesus taught his followers to face suffering rather than to flee it. The hope of glory lies ahead for those who follow his example of infinite love.
Lady Julian of Norwich said,
The Passion of Christ is comfort for us.
He comforts us readily and kindly and says:
All will be well, and every kind of thing will be well.
Ways of Meditating on the Passion of Jesus
You may wish to pray on the mystery of the Passion each day, or on Fridays, on during Lent - days especially devoted to the memory of the Passion of Jesus. Choose your own time and place, and perhaps use a crucifix or sacred image to help focus yourself.
Jesus is with you. “Imagine Our Lord as loving, gentle teacher,” Saint Theresa suggests in The Way of Perfection. “He will be a friend with you always, if you only do what you can. As your Lord, he comes to make you free. As he loves you, he adapts himself to you as you are.”
As he enlightened disciples on the road to Emmaus, Jesus will guide you as you remember the things that happened to him.
- The prayer of Jesus in the garden
We cannot live a “comfort-at-all-costs” philosophy of life.
- Jesus is condemned to death
Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate.”
- Jesus is scourged
The Passion of Jesus is a sign God will not abandon the weak and those crippled by pain.
- Jesus is crowned with thorns
Here was God's Son: so disguised, so hidden, so weak, mocked as king.
- Mother of Sorrows
Mary was tested as never before. And she did not falter.
- The face of the suffering Christ
The face of Jesus in his suffering looked very much like the faces of countless other victims of despotic power and human greed down through the centuries.
- The crucifixion and death of Jesus
When we remember the pain of Jesus Crucified, gratitude soon follows because we recall that he endured those sufferings on our behalf.
- Jesus is pierced by a lance
From the side of Christ comes the life-giving grace we need to return safely to the Father.
- Jesus rises in glory from the tomb