The heavy Cross cuts and tears into Our Lord's shoulders.
The crowd has swollen into a multitude, and the legionaries can scarcely contain the angry, surging mob which, like a river that has burst its banks, flows through the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem. The worn out body of Jesus staggers now beneath the huge Cross. His most loving Heart can barely summon up another breath of life for his poor wounded limbs.
To right and left, Our Lord sees the multitude moving around like sheep without a shepherd. He could call them one by one by their names, by our names. There they are, those who were fed at the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, those who were cured of their ailments, those he taught by the lakeside, on the mountain and in the porticoes of the Temple.
A sharp pain pierces the soul of Jesus; Our Lord falls to the ground exhausted.
You and I can say nothing: now we know why the Cross of Jesus weighs so much. We weep over our wretched failings and also for the terrible ingratitude of the human heart. From the depths of our soul there comes an act of real contrition, that lifts us up from the prostration of sin. Jesus has fallen that we might get up: once and for all.
Points for meditation
1. Sad? ... Because you have fallen in that little battle?
No! Be cheerful! Because in the next one, thanks to God 's grace and to your humiliation now, you will conquer!
2. As long as there is struggle, ascetical struggle, there is interior life. That is what Our Lord is asking of us: the will to want to love him with deeds, in the little things of every day.
If you have conquered in little things, you will conquer in big ones.
3. 'This man is dying. There is nothing more to be done... '
It happened years ago in a hospital in Madrid.
After his confession, when the priest gave him his crucifix to kiss, that gypsy started to shout, and no one could stop him:
'I can't kiss Our Lord with this filthy mouth of mine! '
'But listen, very soon you are going to embrace him and give him a big kiss, in heaven!
4. You speak and no one listens. And if they do listen, they don 't understand. You are always misunderstood!... Agreed. But in any case, in order that your cross may take on the full meaning of Christ's Cross, that is how you have to work now, with nobody taking any notice of you. Others will understand you.
5. How many through their pride and imagination, enter upon calvaries that have nothing to do with Christ's!
The Cross you must shoulder is divine. Do not allow yourself to carry any human cross. If you ever get caught in this snare, rectify your intention immediately: it will be enough for you to consider that He has suffered infinitely more for love of us.
No sooner has Jesus risen from his first fall than he meets his Blessed Mother, standing by the wayside where He is passing.
With immense love Mary looks at Jesus, and Jesus at his Mother. Their eyes meet, and each heart pours into the other its own deep sorrow. Mary 's soul is steeped in bitter grief, the grief of Jesus Christ.
O all you that pass by the way, look and see, was there ever a sorrow to compare with my sorrow! (Lam 1:12).
But no one notices, no one pays attention; only Jesus.
Simeon 's prophecy has been fulfilled: thy own soul a sword shall pierce (Luke 2:35).
In the dark loneliness of the Passion, Our Lady offers her Son a comforting balm of tenderness, of union, of faithfulness; a 'yes ' to the divine will.
Hand in hand with Mary, you and I also want to console Jesus, by accepting always and in everything the Will of his Father, of our Father.
Only thus will we taste the sweetness of Christ's Cross, and come to embrace it with all the strength of Love, carrying it in triumph along the ways of the earth.
Points for meditation
1. What man would not weep seeing the Mother of Christ in such cruel torment?
Her Son so stricken... and we, cowards, keep our distance, not wanting to accept the Will of God.
My Mother and Lady, teach me how to pronounce a 'yes ' which, like yours, will identify with the cry Jesus made before his Father: non mea voluntas... (Luke 22:42): not my will but God 's be done.
2. So much wretchedness! So many offences! Mine, yours, those of all mankind...
Et in peccatis concepit me mater mea! In sins did my mother conceive me! (Ps 50:7). I, like all men, came into the world stained with the guilt of our first parents. And then... my own sins: rebellions, thought about, desired, committed...
To purify us of this rottenness, Jesus willed to humble himself and take on the form of a slave (cf. Phil 2:7), becoming incarnate in the spotless womb of Our Lady, his Mother, who is also your Mother and mine. He spent thirty years in obscurity, working as any other man, at Joseph 's side. He preached. He worked miracles... and we repaid him with the Cross.
Do you need more motives for contrition?
3. Jesus had been waiting for this meeting with his Mother. How many childhood memories! Bethlehem, the flight into distant Egypt, the village of Nazareth. Now again he wants her by his side, on Calvary.
We need her!... In the darkness of the night, when a little child is afraid, it cries out: 'Mummy! '
That is what I have to do, to cry out many times with my heart: 'Mother! Mummy! Don't leave me. '
4. There is still a little way to go before reaching true abandonment. If you have not attained it yet, do not worry: keep up the effort. A day will come when you won't see any way other than Him — Jesus, his Blessed Mother, and the supernatural means that the Master has left us.
5. If we are souls of faith, we will give to earthly happenings a very relative importance, just as the saints did... Our Lord and his Mother will not abandon us and, whenever it is necessary, they will make their presence felt to fill the hearts of their loved ones with security and peace.
Taken from: The Way of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva