First Station - Jesus is condemned to death
Before I begin (given that I am praying the stations alone) I like to take a moment to contemplate each word of the station with a few words to also contemplate - "Jesus is condemned to death."
Jesus - Lord, Savior, Counselor, Spouse, Brother
Is - action, affirmed
Condemned - punishment, accused, doomed, reviled, rebuked, death
To - directed towards, facing, by way of
Death - demise, paradise, passing, departure, cease, crucifixion, nails, scourged, mortality, internal passing
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.
Pr. Again the high priest began to ask him, and said to him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" And Jesus said to him, "I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven." But the high priest tore his garments and said, "What further need have we of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?" And they all condemned him as liable to death. (Mark 14, 61 to 64)
"I am. And you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming with the clouds of heaven." Even faced with know of his fate, Jesus stood tall and announced what we hear echoed in the Old Testament - "I AM." To me, that was amazing courage under fire. The human side of Jesus must have felt alone, persecuted, and betrayed. Without complete comparison to Jesus' plight I can admit that I know what it feels like to be betrayed by my own people and persecuted for my faith - not beaten physically, but emotionally. Do I stand tall with the conviction of my faith when under fire?
I feel my sin so completely at this station knowing that my Lord has willingly committed to an unjust death - for my sins. A completely innocent being! I look at the life I lived and assess the vastness of the sins I have committed over more years than Jesus was with us. With all my effort to not please man, as to be His servant, I pledge to keep in heart what You have bore for me, my Lord. With Your help, let me sin no more!
All: (KNEEL AND PAUSE) The kings of the earth rise up / and the princes conspire together against the Lord and against his Anointed. / I will proclaim the decree of the Lord; / the Lord said to me: / "You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. / Ask of me and I will give you the nations for an inheritance / and the ends of the earth for your possession." (Psalm 2, 2 & 7-8)
Let us pray. All-powerful and eternal God, for proclaiming the truth your Son, Jesus Christ, is condemned to death by crucifixion. Stir up your love in our hearts so that we might be ever faithful to all that You have told us and fear nothing more than the loss of your friendship through sin.
Celestine J. Damiano, D.D
Archbishop-Bishop of Camden
October 15, 1965