By Fr. Christopher Kubat
Earlier this Lent, I had a chance to talk to a single mother with a small boy in church, where there is a set of beautifully done Stations of the Cross. She is someone we have helped with rent and utilities preventing a homeless situation. She is someone interested in becoming a baptized Catholic.
As we walked through the stations, her face became more serious and somber. I have often asked myself, why is it that when we are making the Stations of the Cross we are not reduced to tears? Why is it that when a loved one suffers and dies we weep and not so when we meditate on the passion and death of the Lord Jesus? Is it that we do not love our Divine Savior enough?
After falling the first time, Jesus had Simon of Cyrene help Him carry His cross. Despite falling three times, He got up and continued carrying the cross. When we fall, we are able to get up, with the help of the grace of God, and continue carrying our crosses. If we search the gospels carefully, we learn that Jesus never promised to take our crosses away, but did promise to help us carry them.
Powerful moments were when Jesus met His mother on the way and when she held the dead body of her son in her arms when He was taken down from the cross. She suffered indescribably despite knowing He would rise in three days.
When we came to the 14th station, I informed her that I was fortunate to have offered several Masses in the tomb that our Lord was buried. I also told her we know by faith that the story does not end at the 14th station because the tomb is empty, as the Lord Jesus rose from the dead in glory.
Since we live in a fallen world, our lives can be described as our own living stations of the cross. When we fall due to our own weaknesses, we are able to get up with the grace of God that comes to us in the sacraments. Let us remind ourselves that when we die with the grace of God in our souls, our bodies will rise from the dead like Jesus on the last day to live forever in heaven with a share of His glory. This is what we are celebrating on Easter and during the Easter Season- the victory of Jesus Christ over sin and death and our share in this singular victory.
May meditating on the passion of Christ lead to compassion and sorrow for what we did to Jesus by our sins, but also lead to happiness and joy knowing that when we repent and cooperate with the grace of God in our lives, we too will share in His Easter glory, not for a time but forever. This was the message I shared with the single mother mentioned above. Glory and thanks be to God!