40 Days to Santiago — Day 27
The Way of the Cross
As we transition out of Holy Week and now celebrate the Easter Season, it is worth taking a day to share the meditation I made on the Sorrowful Mysteries while praying the rosary in the early morning on the way to the Cruz de Ferro.
Agony in the Garden
Jesus must have dreaded what he knew was about to come, desperately hoping there was another way. Perhaps he didn’t quite know, in his acceptance of his human nature, what was about to happen — who would stay with him, and who would abandon him. He called the three friends he counted on most to keep watch with him, and they let him down. What did he feel when he realized he would have to do this alone — and how much hope did he put into believing that at least the Father would never leave his side.
Scourging at the Pillar
What did Jesus feel as each blow tore deeper into his flesh, knowing it was only the beginning. What went through his heart when he looked at his mother, perhaps briefly comforted seeing John with her. Did he find strength knowing that all he needed to do is just wait and endure until the scourging was done? How did he react when, after the whipping was finished, he still did not receive the mercy of care, or aid, or even death?
Jesus Receives a Crown of Thorns
As Jesus suffered all this physical pain, he was mocked and sneered at, as a sharp and twisted crown of thorns was placed on his head. Although he had given up all power, God coming as man, even that was taken from him as those with smaller hearts tried to make themselves feel bigger at his expense. And he yielded — although Jesus had all the power, he let them have the power. How it must have felt, knowing who he was, and yet letting his torturers feel as though they were the ones in control.
Jesus Carries His Cross
After Jesus had already been abandoned, beaten, and was barely able to move, he then had drag the cross across his raw and bleeding back, support the weight of it with his exhausted body, and carry it up a steep rocky hill, knowing he would then be nailed to it with brutal spikes driven through his hands and feet. Along the way, though he walked alone, he received relief and help from friends, washing his face, and a stranger, helping him carry the weight.
Jesus is Crucified and Dies
Then Jesus was alone again. I think of my days walking. At the end of the day I change my clothes and shower and lay down for a nap. At the end of his climb, Jesus was stripped, spit on, and laid down on the cross. He did this all for love, but all had left him except Mary and John.
After all that had happened, Jesus was abandoned — even by the Father. He was separated from his very nature. God himself suffered the consequence of our sin — separation from the Divine Life. He was alone, and then he died. And then, even after his death, just to make sure he was really dead, Longinus thrust a spear in his side, was washed in his blood, and recognized Jesus for who he was, receiving his mercy at that moment. Even after all was finished, even after God died, a man was brought to new life.
He did this all for love.