Ninth Station: Jesus falls for the third time

You are those who have continued with me in my trials; and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom”.

Luke 22:28-30a

The ascent is brief, yet his weakness is extreme. Jesus is physically spent, but spiritually too. He senses that he has taken upon himself the hatred of the elders, the priests, the crowd, all of whom seem to want to unleash on him all the repressed anger caused by past and present oppression. It is almost as if they are seeking some sort of vengeance by lording it over Jesus.

And you fall, Jesus, you fall for the third time.
You seem to give up.
But see! With utter weariness you rise again
and take up anew the journey to Golgotha.
So many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world
are enduring tremendous trials because they follow you, Jesus.
They are going up with you to Calvary
and with you they are also falling
beneath the persecutions which for two thousand years
have been inflicted on your Body which is the Church.

We wish, alongside these beloved brothers and sisters of ours, to offer our own lives, our weaknesses, our poverty, our daily sufferings great and small. Often we live lives anesthetized by prosperity, without making a strenuous effort to rise or to help humanity to rise. But we can rise, because Jesus found the strength to stand and take up the journey anew.

Our families are also a part of this threadbare fabric, tied to a life of ease which becomes the goal of life itself. Our children grow up: let us try to train them in sobriety, sacrifice, renunciation. Let us try to give them a fulfilling social life through sports, clubs and recreation, but not in such a way that these activities become simply a way of filling up their days and giving them whatever they want.

And so, Jesus,
we need to listen to your words,
and we ourselves want to bear witness:
“Blessed are the poor, blessed are the meek, blessed are the peacemakers,
blessed are those who suffer for justice’s sake…”

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