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The Way Of The Cross


Jesus Carrying the Cross
by Rapheal, 1516, via Wikipedia

One Sunday afternoon in the Old City of Jerusalem, I walked from my living quarters, the Franciscan Hospice, the Casa Nova, to the chapel of the Flagellation. This Chapel marks the beginning of the Via Dolorosa, the Sorrowful Way, the road Jesus took to Mount Calvary.  All scholars agree that in this Chapel area, the Roman Soldiers lashed Jesus with whips.

On coming out of the small Chapel after praying in its dark interior, I stepped out into the narrow street. Some fifteen feet wide, with high walls on either side of it, the road winds uphill for three blocks to Holy Sepulcher Church, the place of the crucifixion.  As I did so, a plaque on the side wall caught my eye.  On it, a message printed in four languages announced to all passing by, “Jesus is searching for someone who will humble himself as He did and lovingly bear his cross as He did.  Will you be his disciple?”

As I began to copy these words in my notebook, I heard a tapping sound coming from the other end of the deserted road. A lone blind man, in full Muslim dress, was approaching me; his white cane making the tapping sound.  I stood back so that he could walk by.  He came between me and the plaque on the wall.

Just as Jesus had done, this man carried his cross on the Via Dolorosa in the 20th Century.  Perhaps the blind man’s cross of a white cane did not equal the weight of the heavy wooden cross of the Lord.  Still this man’s suffering spread over many years amounted to a heavy burden.  I marveled at the quick step of the man, the certainty of his stride, the look of serenity on his face.

The timing of the blind person coming upon me at the start of the Way of the Cross startled me. The Lord gave me a perfect example of the kind of person He was searching for: one carrying his cross in a loving way.  No one searches out suffering.  Life brings its share of pain and hardship without our volunteering to bring the cross into our lives.  Jesus looks to see if His disciples will bear with this pain in a creative and submissive way.  As we begin this Season of Lent, how can we use our fasting, praying and almsgiving to draw closer to Our Lord?

Fr. George McKenna

February 18, 2018 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Thank you Father McKenna!

    Comment by Anonymous | February 18, 2018 | Reply

  2. Oh, FR George, how I needed these words today! I’ve been feeling quite sorry for myself with a prolonged physical ailment and this is just what I needed to hear. I’ve only turned my suffering into a real pity party! I will go forth carrying my ‘cross’ with an intention of love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and offer up my suffering for the intentions of the Holy Father and for the sins of the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will read this story every day to remind me to submit to God’s master plan. I love you, dear friend! Your name will be written in the book for mass intentions today at my church.

    Love,
    Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | February 18, 2018 | Reply

  3. Thsnk you Fr. I have pain every day and have forgotten my Christian way to follow Christ..

    Comment by Mary Doron | February 18, 2018 | Reply


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