II. Jesus takes his cross.

Play this music as you contemplate the image and prepare for prayer.

Pause and hold your heart and the whole world in your hands.

Station 02

Upon his sentencing, Jesus takes his cross.
He bears his cross on his shoulder.
How often has he told his disciples
something that probably didn’t make sense to them:

“If you wish to follow me, take up your cross.”

Now finally, it makes sense:
To be a follower of Jesus, we need to follow his example–
We need to take up our cross.

What is your cross at this time of the pandemic?
At this time we find different crosses thrust upon us
–crosses of every shape, size, and weight.
Easily, we can think of four types of crosses:

First, there are the thousands of daily wage earners among us
who, because of the work shutdown,
suddenly find themselves without work and without pay.
Each day they are worried about what to feed their families.

Their cross is very different from those among us
whose main problem these days is the isolation
and the boredom that we’re experiencing
as a result of the prescribed social distancing and lockdown.

And, of course, there are those among us
who have caught the virus and are suffering–
burning with fever, coughing,
experiencing difficulty in breathing,
even facing the possibility of death.
Many of them are afraid and feel alone,
whether they are in the ICU or in their homes.
These are the crosses heaviest and most painful to bear.

Finally, there are the heroic doctors and medical workers
working in the frontlines,
their masks pressed all day against their faces,

exhausting themselves and putting their own safety on the line.
These are the ones most like our Lord
because the crosses they are carrying are not their own.

These doctors, alongside those who are sick
and their anxious loved ones,
are the ones who most need our prayers and support.

What are we being called to do today?
After naming the cross entrusted to you,

make a decision to accept it and bear it like the Lord–
with neither complaint nor resentment,
but with courage and strength.

This will be difficult for some more than others,
but we must all try our very best–
especially if our cross happens to be relatively lightweight,
compared to what others have to suffer.

Let us take our cross today
and offer up our suffering–whatever it might be–in prayer
for those who are suffering much more than us.

The band One Republic has a song called “I Lived”
that offers us such relevant lines for today.
The lines are about choosing to rise to the occasion,

being brave and generous,
doing not just the right thing–but the better thing.

Here are some of those lines. Which one speaks to you most?

Hope when you take that jump / You don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises/ You built a wall

Hope if everybody runs / You choose to stay
And I hope that you don’t suffer / But take the pain.

This last line, in particular, calls us to a different kind of suffering:
Can we, like the Lord, refuse to be just a victim of suffering? 
Can we “take the pain”–freely, bravely, strongly–as he did?
Remember, it is possible to be brave and strong
even when we feel afraid.

Spend a few moments 
telling the Lord how you feel–
and what you can try to do today
in response to him.

“Behold the Wood” from St. Louis Jesuits. Image for Station from Fratel Venzo. “I Lived” from One Republic

Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and prayers below.

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40 replies on “II. Jesus takes his cross.”

Lord, I surrender fear to You on that cross. I shall not let Your suffering be in vain. I am a strong woman and I welcome a bright future with whoever You will choose for me. I welcome prosperity under Your guidance.

Thy Grace will be present and the Lenten season has purified so many souls, benefiting a lot of believers and unbelievers. Thy justice shall rule and end the evil work of this virus. Once again, Thy Resurrection shall redeem us and we shall see the light of day.

My Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for opening my heart today and pouring in your merciful love that my heart overflows. Grant me a contrite heart that I may truly appreciate all that I have and stop comparing myself to others. My thorns now are nothing compared to what others are experiencing right now at this time of the pandemic. By your grace help me to only keep a grateful heart. Make me an instrument of your love and peace to those around me and to those i will encounter today and everyday. May my life here on Earth glorify you by my way picking out the thorns on your head. My God and my all, have mercy on me andthe whole world.

Dear Lord,

I know you gave me a lightweight cross with regard to this pandemic. I am also aware that you gave heavier crosses to others. You are calling to me to share their burden by praying for them and helping them. Lord, grant me the grace to pour my heart out every time I pray for them. Amen.

Carrying our crosses might be a terrifying experience especially when it is unfamiliar and complex.

But the Lord has shown us an example on how to carry our crosses – with acceptance, humility, and courage… seeing the cross more than an expression of pain or failure but an opportunity to bring us closer to God.

I have to carry this cross and embrace it for it to be lighter but realize that I am not the only one with a load to bear. We are all carrying our own crosses. Help me to carry my cross but continue to live. Carrying it with a good attitude; not begrudgingly.

Jesus accepted his suffering on the cross, trusting in His Father. May we accept this suffering too, with faith and trust in God. But also see how in our own way alleviate others who are suffering more than we do, by lending a helping hand, offering Time, effort and our own resources to lighten their load.

Jesus carries his cross. Lord I often complain when my cross is heavy. Help me to accept my cross, the cross of feeling – You O Lord so silent and distance. I worry my family members of their situation especially those who are a health worker and those in the frontline. As I carry my cross let me put my trust in you.

Yesterday, I learned from the homily that a doctor commented on why they are referred as the FRONTLINERS when actually all of us are FRONTLINERS and the medical and support teams are actually in the last line of defence. How true. As frontliners, we face the situation and conditions around us. We take up our cross by recognizing and actually doing the ”DOs” in order to prevent the spread of this virus. As FRONTLINERS, our mission or our cross is to prevent the virus from spreading. A bit difficulty actually, but this is doable. Like Jesus who, despite the pain from carrying the heavy cross, was focused on lifting HIS cross when HE fell and step by step HE moved on. I get unfocused many a times and missing washing my hands as often as i could or even touching my face unmindfully. Imagining the weight of the cross, Jesus was able to move on step by step. It shows HE was so focused…. to carry out HIS mission. Our mission [washing hands, quarantine, social distancing] is so simply comparatively speaking… yet, we could not carry it out smoothly / consistently. I pray that we understand in our hearts [and mind], the importance of the 3 simply things we need to carry out. We have 2 more weeks to carry this out. I pray that we continue to learn to focus and believe that this mission is for the good of humanity and not only for us as individual. Lord God, grant us the gift of focus.

I have found that when I drag my cross along to carry it, it is really heavy. But when I EMBRACE it, it becomes amazingly light.

The situation has really made people slow down, keep still, be silent to be reflective of their life as to what is important.. in our minds we all know what is important but we rush to do what is expected barely able to breathe. God is now asking us to take stock of our own life.

Praying for the end of the Corona Virus pandemic. God mercy on us. God protect us. God save us all.

I agree with you. I feel I am asked to pause – reflect and think about what should matter in this life. I am so busy with everyday activity trying to better my business – how to make it grow and earn more . For what – to be able to have more to spend enjoy life travel give more to my kids. But I miss the main point of living – love- giving one’s life for another. Lord make me an instrument of your peace. Teach me to love .

Let us also remember to pray all who work in the grocery stores and pharmacy, food deliveries and pick- up stations. For all the scientists across the world working to find cure to COVID-19.

The time ecq announced, I suddenly feel disturbed because of our janitors, skilled personnel & guards they are the one who will so much be affected. When time my superior asked me to help her, I did not hesitate to help. We sorted & packed canned goods, noodles, rice coffee & sugar. Just to make sure that they will have something to eat during these days of quarantine. I was able to help them ease their worries.
Is this act a way of helping them carry their cross?

Dear Lord, give me a way to help carry the cross of others, that I may be like You. I feel useless, I feel like one of those who are by the wayside, watching you carry your cross, seeing You fall down and though my heart is filled with compassion, hurt and anger, I cannot run to You and help you. Lead me to the best way I can help carry the burden of others. Help me find a way to help.

I feel the same way as you. I am one of those who just see this as a discomfort and dislocation from the daily routine. I feel helpless, unable to assist those with heavy crosses. I try to find ways but do not feel it is enough. Lord help me to be of greater assistance to those in need.

Do not ever feel that you are helpless and that you cannot help. Jesus told Saint Faustina that if you pray and meditate on His passion and He told this to other saints too, that you do more than if you did a thousand good deeds. That is not to say you should not do good deed when the opportunity presents itself. We have the privilege of being in the mystical body of Christ and He is our head, therefore the love of the Son of God for Our Father belongs to us. When we pray God sees us in Jesus and Jesus is all powerful.Your prayers in Christ are POWERFUL!

Station II- Jesus carries His cross.
I step into the shoes of Mother Earth. For millions of years she has sustaind all of us who live on this planet – man, animals, trees, plants, minerals – the animate and inanimate of creation. She is groaning because of man’s neglect. We just do not care about our skies, land, rivers and oceans.
Mother Earth, you must just ready to give on us. Our disrespect for the beautiful plants and animals that God has placed on this earth must be appalling. Like Jesus you quietly carry the cross of our neglect for all of us. I pray that you donot give up, that you continue to provide for us. May the healing love of Jesus touch the hearts of men so that we can heal our land, return to Jesus and love Him as we ought.

Yes Lord, I humbly admit I am afraid and am not sure if I can be brave and strong like you. But I know dear Lord that nothing is impossible to you so I pray that you grant me the grace to be brave and strong! In your mighty name, I pray.

Needing to reevaluate the heaviness of my cross. It may he lighter than I think. Thinking if others with unbearable crosses.

The video shared after the reflection is perfect for my teens. I will let them watch it. Thank you Fr. for reaching out to us through this online Stations of the Cross.

Thank you Lord for embracing us in this journey. We surrender our situations to you Oh Lord. Please cover us with your mighty hand that we may be protected from this virus. Lord we trust you, we love you, we adore you. ❤️?

Lord thank you for giving us the strength to accept my mother’s sickness & please give her the strength to accept for sickness & please help her to realize that at this point she must face this & try to get well on her own…

Very beautiful reflection. Yes, we all have crossed to carry – different types and weights but the heaviest of the all is the one that Jesus brought walking to Calvary. Let us always remember that just as Simon of Cyrene eased the burden from Jesus, we in this modern day and age should always turn to Jesus who loves us so much?

Yes, with this Covid19 Pandemic, we are called to a different kind of suffering with so much fear and uncertainty. But as we carry this cross, we take in mind, the sufferings our Lord took for us to save us from our sins. And this is our hope, believing in our hearts, that He will come to save us again. In faith, it is possible to be brave and strong even when we feel afraid.
Thank you Fr. Johnny for your guided reflections for this Way of the Cross. God bless.

Like many others, my cross is not being able to see my family – my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren. In fact, at my age and with the possibility of catching COVID-19 – who knows? I may never see them again. Lord, if that is your will, I humbly accept. Help me to be ready to carry my cross bravely.

Thank you, Fr. Johnny for preparing and sharing these Stations of the Cross with us. It helps us reflect better and dig deeper in our hearts our purpose in life. And realize what else we can do more to live better.

Lord gove me the gift of courage…to follow your footsteps all the way to the… never giving up… to be crucified with you for the forgiveness of my sins. I love you Jesus.

Thank you for being with us dear Lord in this challenging times. Praying for everyone and declaring God’s victory!

In every adversity, we discover a new strength within.

Just like Mary’s “Yes” to God’s invitation, she was assured of impossibilities turned to possibilities. “Don’t be afraid, for I am w you.”

Thank you, Fr Johnny, for everything in the Stations, including the responses, which draw me closer to the Lord and the respondents. God bless and keep you as you continue to work on the Stations. Waiting patiently for the next station, …

Lord, I believe that in the silence of our hearts, you are with us. Yes! It is possible to be brave & strong even when we feel afraid to carry our crosses.
We love you, Lord & thank you for all that you’ve done for us. May we be like you. ???

Lord, today I feel scared, bothered by the news of this pandemic. Help me to handle my distress and continue to be strong to face my anxieties. You are my strength and hope. With you, O Lord nothing is impossible. I raise to you my deepest concerns of what will happen to our futur or, how can we move on to this. Sharing these concerns have made me feel better and relieve my worries.. Knowing that you are here to be with us forever. Grant me a strong heart to service others too. AMEN

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