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Seven Station: Jesus falls a Second Time

Tired now, beaten, bruised, body-broken, Jesus staggered along.
As he walked, the shoulders ached,
The head dripped blood, the knees buckled.
Jesus fell a second time
A whip was lashed, a hard word was spoken, a fist
A lance’s blunted end. Jesus rose and moved on again.

"Jesus, our brother, you must have been discouraged by your second fall. We too, know discouragement. Our best efforts end in failure. Those we love, do not seem to love us. Regardless of our efforts, life does not bring peace. What shall we do? We will imitate your example, and try again, even in the face of futility."
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Sixth Station: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

His face blood-stained, grime-weary, terrified and tired, Jesus shuddered, step by step, along Veronica, hesitantly tender, alive to opportunity, from the shadows stepped out and with her woman’s veil touched the face and bathed the sorrow to the tempo of her tears. Veronica, Veronica, so tender yet so alive.

"Jesus, our brother, you rewarded Veronica for her courage. You left your image upon her veil. You will reward us for our courage, you will leave the imprint of our faces upon our lives. “By this will all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another.” Help us forget our fears and reach out to serve our needy brothers."
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Fifth Station: Simon helps Jesus to Carry the Cross

Strong and likely Simon stood, chance watcher of that strange procession on its way to Calvary. Proud and from the country, young and insecure. “Carry the cross,” they said, words empowered by whips and lances and numbers. And, he did. He shouldered the cross. And followed behind Jesus.

"Jesus, our brother, we have to admire Simon. He took up your cross and followed you. He had so little doubt, he had so little hesitation. We see you suffering in all around us – in the poor, in the powerless, in the misunderstood. We are so hesitant to come to your aid. We find so many excuses. We remain aloof. Grant us the wisdom and the courage to help the least of your brothers and so help you."
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"Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 ...

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Fourth Station: Jesus meets His Mother

Mary, mothering her son in his last moments – unable to touch save with saddened eyes. Jesus, body torn, heart broken, eyes on his mother. Comforted and comforting. No word was spoken. None was needed. Jesus met his mother.

"Jesus, our brother, we are moved by Mary’s love for you. We are amazed at Mary’s love for us. It is hard to believe she has not lost confidence in you. But, we know she has not. She saw beneath your grime and agony. She saw your hidden beauty. We trust she can do the same for us. We need to be understood these days. We so often feel alone."
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Third Station: Jesus falls the First Time

Here on Calvary’s way, Jesus fell the first time.
Not yet exhausted, still alert to every pain, still quickened by the lash. Tripped on a stone, perhaps, Or stunned by a soldier’s blow. Jesus struggled. He stood up. He moved on.

"Jesus our brother, you have fallen with your cross.
We wonder if you have not fallen again today. Everywhere we see signs of weakness in our nation, in our world. We see dissension, controversy, turmoil. We are scandalized. We do not understand. Our faith begins to falter. Help us find you hidden in your weakness. Help us find you beneath the cross."
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4th Sunday of Lent
Today's Gospel: John 9:1, 6-9, 13-17, 34-38

The blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored
As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. He spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored.

His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’

They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man.

‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away.

Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him.
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The Second Station: Jesus takes up His Cross

Large and heavy, edges rough, weight unbearable, that cross had stood, waiting the unfortunate, the criminal, the victim of the court. Manfully, silently, Jesus shouldered it.

The march began,
to Golgotha, to Golgotha,
He struggled on, painfully, quietly alone

"Jesus our brother, we watch you bear your cross and do not understand. We are afraid of suffering. Our hearts are hardened. Everyone tells us that suffering is evil and must be avoided at every cost. We flee sickness, sorrow and pain. Your carrying of the cross says something different about suffering. We are not sure just what it is. Help us to follow you even when we do not understand."
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Dearest Father, we pray for a spirit of openness to hear your
words and to receive them into our hearts. May your words
bring us closer to you and give us the humility and courage
to be your children of the light. Let the darkness of our lives
be cast away and your light of truth, goodness and joy be our
lamps in our journey of life. Let us never stray from your path
of light and may our lives be lights of joy, healing and mercy
to others. We ask this through Christ, our Lord.
Amen. #Lent2017

You may get your Lenten Reflection booklet at your parish or download from ONE at:
buff.ly/2lnubQs
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Starting tomorrow, embark on a journey with Jesus Via Crucis leading up to Holy Week. We invite you to pray the Way of the Cross in your community, families, parishes as well. #Lent2017

First Station: Jesus is condemned to Death
O Jesus help us to meditate on the way of the Cross. Give us a true understanding of the suffering you accepted and a desire to reproduce in us your attitudes and virtues.
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