STATIONS OF THE CROSS
Station 2: Jesus Takes Up His Cross
Location: Corner of S. Henry St. and W. Main St.
A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew
Jesus told the crowd, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
The Romans made frequent use of crucifixion as a means of execution. It suited their purposes well: it was humiliating, agonizing, and prolonged, and it made a public example of what happened to those who opposed Roman authority. It was used especially for people who posed the worst threats to social order: murderers, thieves, criminals, and revolutionaries. To die in such a way was to die in shame and infamy.
This was the death that Jesus accepted. He ate with sinners, and he died with them. He also called on his disciples—and on us—to walk that path with him, taking upon ourselves the marks of shame and humiliation for the sake of justice and peace.
A prayer for the Way of the Cross
Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Holy and mighty,
Holy immortal one,
have mercy upon us.