St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Friday, April 06, 2012

Thirteenth & Fourteenth Stations w/Meditations: "We do Not Belong to Ourselves..." Gal 2:20

Thirteenth Station:

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Mary stands by the Cross, engulfed in grief. And John is beside her. But it is getting late, and the Jews press for Our Lord to be removed from there.

Having obtained from Pilate the permission required by Roman law for the burial of condemned prisoners, there comes to Calvary a councillor named Joseph, a good and upright man, a native of Arimathea. He has not consented to their counsel and their doings, but is himself one of those waiting for the kingdom of God (Luke 23:50-51). With him too comes Nicodemus, the same who earlier visited Jesus by night; he brings with him a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight (John 19:39).

These men were not known publicly as disciples of the Master. They had not been present at the great miracles, nor did they accompany him on his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. But now, when things have turned bad, when the others have fled, they are not afraid to stand up for their Lord.

Between the two of them they take down the body of Jesus and place it in the arms of his most holy Mother. Mary 's grief is renewed.

Where has thy Beloved gone, o fairest of women? Where has he whom thou lovest gone, and we will seek him with thee? (Cant 5:17).

The Blessed Virgin is our Mother, and we do not wish to, we cannot, leave her alone.

Points for meditation

1. He came to save the world, and his own denied him before Pilate.

He showed us the path to goodness, and they drag him along the way to Calvary.

He gave example in everything he did, and they prefer a thief convicted of murder.

He was born to forgive, and —without cause — they condemn him to the gallows.

He came along the paths of peace, and they declare war on him.

He was the Light, and they hand him over to the powers of darkness.

He brought Love, and they repay him with hatred.

He came to be King, and they crown him with thorns.

He became a slave to free us from sin, and they nail him to the Cross.

He took flesh to give us Life, and we reward him with death.

2. I can 't understand your idea of being a Christian.

Do you think it right that Our Lord should have died crucified and that you can be content with just 'getting by '?

Is your 'getting by ' the strait, narrow path that Jesus spoke of?

3. Don 't let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven 't failed, just as Christ didn 't fail on the Cross. Take courage!... Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary 's Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength.

Hold your peace. Be calm... God has very few friends on earth. Don 't yearn to leave this world. Don 't shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long.

4. If you want to be faithful, be very Marian.

Our Mother, from the time of the Angel 's message, until her agony at the foot of the Cross, had no other heart, no other life, but that of Jesus.

Go to Mary with the tender devotion of a son, and She will obtain for you the loyalty and self-denial that you desire.

5. 'I am worth nothing, I can do nothing, I have nothing, I am nothing... '

But You have ascended the Cross so that I may make your infinite merits my own. There I also take on —they are mine, because I am their child — the merits of the Mother of God, and those of St Joseph. And I make my own the virtues of the saints and of so many dedicated souls...

Then, I steal a glance at my own life, and I say: Alas, my God, it is all night and full of darkness! Only now and then can one see a few points of light sparkling, due to your great mercy and to my inadequate response... All this I offer to you, Lord; I have nothing else.

Fourteenth Station:

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.

R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Very near Calvary, in an orchard, Joseph of Arimathea had had a new tomb made, cut out of the rock. Since it is the eve of the solemn Pasch of the Jews, Jesus is laid there. Then Joseph, rolling a great stone, closes the grave door and goes away (Matt 27:60).

Jesus came into the world with nothing; so too, with nothing —not even the place where he rests — he has left us.

The Mother of Our Lord —my Mother — and the women who have followed the Master from Galilee, after taking careful note of every thing, also take their leave. Night falls.

Now it is all over. The work of our Redemption has been accomplished. We are now children of God, because Jesus has died for us and his death has ransomed us.

Empti enim estis pretio magno! (1 Cor 6:20), you and I have been bought at a great price.

We must bring into our life, to make them our own, the life and death of Christ. We must die through mortification and penance, so that Christ may live in us through Love. And then follow in the footsteps of Christ, with a zeal to co-redeem all mankind.

We must give our life for others. That is the only way to live the life of Jesus Christ and to become one and the same thing with Him.

Points for meditation

1. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who are hidden disciples of Christ, intercede for Him making use of the high positions they hold. In the hour of loneliness, of total abandonment and of scorn..., it is then that they stand up for him audacter, boldly (Mark 15:43)...: heroic courage!

With them I too will go up to the foot of the Cross; I will press my arms tightly round the cold Body, the corpse of Christ, with the fire of my love...; I will unnail it, with my reparation and mortifications. . . I will wrap it in the new winding-sheet of my clean life, and I will bury it in the living rock of my breast, where no one can tear it away from me, and there, Lord, take your rest!

Were the whole world to abandon you and to scorn you... serviam!, I will serve you, Lord.

2. You know that you were ransomed from your vain observances..., not with silver or gold, which are perishable things, but with the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet 1:18-19).

We do not belong to ourselves. Jesus Christ has bought us with his Passion and with his Death. We are his life. From now on there is only one way of living on earth: to die with Christ so as to rise again with Him, to the point that we can say with the Apostle: It is not I that live, it is Christ that lives in me (Gal 2:20).

3. An inexhaustible source of life is the Passion of Jesus.

Sometimes we renew the joyous impulse that took Our Lord to Jerusalem. Other times, the pain of the agony which ended on Calvary... Or the glory of his triumph over death and sin. But always!, the love —joyful, sorrowful, glorious — of the Heart of Jesus Christ.

4. Think first about others. That way you will pass your life on this earth, making mistakes certainly, for they are inevitable, but leaving behind you a trail of good.

And when the hour of death comes, as it must inexorably, you will welcome it gladly, like Christ, because like Him we too will rise again to receive the reward of his Love.

5. When I feel capable of all the horrors and all the errors committed by the most wretched people, I understand well that I myself can be unfaithful... But this uncertainty is one of the bounties of God 's Love, which leads me to hold tightly, like a child, to the arms of my Father, fighting every day a little so as not to separate myself from Him.

Then I am sure that God will not let me out of his hand. Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, not have compassion on the child of her womb? Yet even if she were to forget, I will not forget thee (Isai 49:15).

Taken from The Way of the Cross, St. Josemaria Escriva

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