Stations of the Cross March 31,2020


60 Church Street
Asheville, NC 28801


828-253-9361 x 227

Stations of the Cross March 31, 2020

Welcome to Stations of the Cross March 31, 2020

As we walk this Journey, our thanks to material from the Community of the  Gospel
You can find references and graphics for this  Journey at this link:    http://www.communityofthegospel.org/Library/CG_Stations_of_the_Cross.pdf

Hello everyone.  This is Brother John.  Welcome to our Lenten series of traveling down the dusty streets of Jerusalem as we explore the Stations of the Cross and how they parallel our human experience.

If possible, light a candle and join me in prayer.

Let us pray:  Lord, as we walk the remaining 3 stations today, open our heart and mind to see you walking with us.  With the theme of “Letting Go”, may we see ways of letting go of those things in our life that keep us from fully loving ourselves, you and our neighbor.  Bless our time together and may we always focus on the light of Christ even during these trying times.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord,  Amen

Our theme today is “Letting Go”.  We will focus on Stations 11 (Jesus is nailed to the cross.), Station 13 (The body of Jesus is taken down.), and Station 14 (Jesus is laid in the tomb.). Our Gospel focus today is from Luke 23:33, 50-55. 

Let’s visit these three stations and reflect on the theme of letting go.

Station 11. Jesus is nailed to the cross.
We adore you, O Christ, and bless you.
Through your love you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

          "Then they crucified Jesus on the cross at the place of the skull, Golgotha, along with two others, one on his right,

          the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they are doing”.

The three stations we will visit today are located inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.  This is the church built over the site of the stone quarry and private tombs located outside the city gate at the time of Jesus.  Today, we will be in an upper section of the church.  At the top of a narrow flight of stone stairs, we arrive at Station 11.  It is marked by a wall mosaic of Jesus being nailed to the cross.  It is maintained by the Roman Catholic Franciscan friars.

 At this station we are reminded that Jesus was trapped.  There was no way out the situation at this point.  Do you sometimes feel trapped by life; that there is no way out of a current situation or problem?  Sometimes these experiences provide us with a new insight that we didn’t foresee.    

Station 13  The body of Jesus is taken down
We adore you, O Christ, and bless you.
Through your love you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

"After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a follower of Jesus, though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so he came and took it away."

Station 13 is located near the front doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the middle of the room.  The focal point of this station is a large flat stone laying on the floor (maybe 2’X8’). It is called the Crusaders Stone of Anointing.  This rock was found during the time of the crusades in this area.  It represents the place where the body of Jesus was taken down and quickly anointed for burial.  Many people bring shrouds that they have purchased for their own burials, lay them on the stone, and pour anointing oils on them.  Other pilgrims, venerate the stone by touching or kissing it.  Some pilgrims believe that the oils that once anointed Jesus still linger on the stone. 

This is a place of waiting.  There was a time of waiting for the bodies of the crucified to be taken down from the cross.  The bodies were usually kept hanging on the cross for a long period of time.  Jesus had influential friends, so his body was given permission to be removed quickly before the Sabbath started (sunset).  Life is full of situations of waiting.  Times of waiting are times of letting go.  We many times have to wait before we are helped.   There are many daily times of waiting:  grocery check-out lines, traffic lights, medication coming in the mail, or a monthly check. When we help others shorten their wait, we help Jesus down from the cross.  When was a time when you helped someone with their difficult wait?

Station 14 Jesus is laid in the tomb
We adore you, O Christ, and bless you.
Through your love you have redeemed the world.

A reading from the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

"Joseph of Arimathaea took the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean shroud, and put it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock, and which never held a body.  Nicodemus came as well, the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time, and he brought a mixture of myrrh          and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, following the Jewish burial custom. Then they rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were there,                    sitting opposite the sepulcher."

Under the center of the vast dome of the church is a stone monument called the edicule (little house).  This area is maintained and directed by clergy and monks of the Greek Orthodox Church. This edicule encases the tomb (sepulchre).    As pilgrims wait in long slow lines to be allowed a few seconds in the tomb, many try to imagine what will be inside.  Pilgrims have to let go of all these thoughts because once you enter the room, some are shocked by the emptiness.  Photos are not allowed in the tomb, but once you enter, you realized that there is nothing to photograph because it is completely empty. 

Let us pray:

Lord, help me to accept the things I cannot change, and to change the things I can; and grant me the wisdom to know the difference.  Amen

Friends, we have had quite a journey walking the narrow streets of Jerusalem together.  Our time is not completely finished.  Next week, we will walk all the stations starting at Station 1 and concluding at Station 14.  I invite you to bring a candle as we will together experience a virtual pilgrim procession.  Come ready for a great spiritual experience.  Be ready for some amazing blessings.  You will leave the experience a different person. 

Join me now for a personal concluding prayer.

Lord Jesus, I have walked with my brothers and sisters the narrow dusty streets of Jerusalem so to have a deeper knowledge and love of you.  I thank you for times of learning and reflection on your life and experiences.  As I think of our five themes, (Warning Danger Ahead, Unexpected People, Brush off the Dust, Claim the Image, and Letting Go), I realize that your journey in life is also my journey in life.  Thank you for always walking with me.  Help me to remember, that during those times when the journey was more than I could handle, you were carrying me.  Help me to be an instrument of peace and love in this world.  In your Holy name I pray.   Amen

Thanks and recognition to the Community of the Gospel for their version of the Stations of the Cross.

Brother John Huebner, OSF, Franciscan Missionary Friar 

Church of the Advocate/The Red Door Ministry

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