As before, I am going to take a moment and contemplate each word of this third station....
Jesus - Lord, Son, Brother, Friend, Counselor, Messiah
Falls - injured, weak, exhausted, pain
The - important, possessive, unique, effect
First - initial, foremost, introductory
Time - moment, interval
We adore You O Christ and we praise You.
Because by Your holy cross You have redeemed the world.
Pr: If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love what is its own. Because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I have spoken to you: No servant is greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also. (John 15, 18 to 20)
(KNEEL AND PAUSE) All: Why are your clothes red, / and your garments like those of the wine presser? / "The wine press I have trodden alone, / and of my people there was no one with me. / I trod them in my anger, and trampled them down in my wrath; / their blood spurted on my garments and I stained all my clothes. / I looked about, but there was no one to help, / I was appalled that there was no one to lend support; / so my own arm brought about the victory." (Is. 63, 2 to 5)
Bloody, exhausted, and injured - Jesus falls. He falls from our sins and heavy is his heart. He knows what is to come and he willingly gets up to carry his cross to Calvary. I have nothing to compare to his suffering! No wonder he felt no support. I cannot even fathom what it must have been like to witness his fall. Hundreds of people present and no one was there that could help. He suffered for my sin and yet I complain about this or that. My tears fall over my heart being broken here or there. I am so weak in comparison. Jesus puts me in perspective and my problems are microscopic. Please Lord help me to remember my Baptism and my Profession to live out the Gospel in today's world. Help me to find perfect joy in my suffering as Christ did.
Pr.: Let us pray. O God, to free us from sin and weakness your Son, Jesus Christ, embraced his fearful passion and crucifixion. Strengthen us in our baptismal resolutions by which we renounced sin and Satan, so that through the passion of this life's sufferings we might rise to a new life of joyful service free of all selfishness.
Celestine J. Damiano, D.D
Archbishop-Bishop of Camden
October 15, 1965