Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Stations of the Cross, with meditations written by Kenosis teens, Part I


Last night during our Kenosis: Teen Disciples for Love and Life meeting, pairs of high school students were assigned a particular station of the cross, with the task of writing a meditation through the lens of self-gift. (Kenosis is a Greek word signifying self-emptying or self-gift, and this key principle in Theology of the Body highlights a beautiful perspective from which to view Holy Week).

The meditations were so extraordinary, so compelling, that they simply had to be shared. Over the next couple of days, I will post the meditations. The first ten Stations were written by high school students, and the remaining four were written by young adult leaders.

First Station: Jesus is condemned to death.

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Dear Jesus,
Out of love of us, you were condemned to death, even in your innocence. You willingly allowed yourself to go through so much suffering, pain, sweat and tears all for me. Your loving example helps me realize your unlimited love for all people and instills in my heart a special bond with others, even if it may be difficult. In my suffering, guide me to accept everything that comes my way and to glorify your heavenly name, even when it may be hard.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Second Station: Jesus takes up his cross.

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus carried the burden of the world when He carried His cross. He took upon Himself the weight of the sins of the world. Not one did He leave out. He did not think, “I am taking up this cross for everyone but Judas.” And He did not think, “This is only for the prostitutes.” No. He gave His whole life to us. We live because He sacrificed for us His whole being. Even so, Jesus continues to sacrifice Himself for us. The miracle of His life did not end at the Ascension; it merely had begun. Jesus takes the burdens of our hurt and our sin and carries it for us daily. Jesus is never going into retirement. His gift of self is daily and constant. We can learn from this that true love is unstoppable and never fails.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Third Station: Jesus falls the first time.

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Complete and utter vulnerability. That is what Christ gives us. He sacrificed Himself, body and soul. There is a great and powerful love that comes from Jesus’ first fall. The God of the universe became flesh through the incarnation, and was willing to give His life for our sins! In taking the dive into this selfless love, He was willing to fall. Willing to allow His foreign, human body to show its weakness in front of His own creation. His love is so great, that He was wiling to give Himself to the clutches of death – God, subjecting Himself to our own human death. By showing this weakness, He truly defined love as the love we try to live today. Help us remember this sacrifice, this love, and reciprocate our own humanity and faults. Help up make ourselves completely vulnerable before Christ by allowing Him to help us when we fall.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Fourth Station: Jesus meets His Mother.

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Jesus, even in your suffering you gave of yourself to comfort your mother in her own suffering. Your selfless gift of love in the moment you met your mother shows us how truly far reaching your love is. Even in the moments when our actions cause you pain, you are still there comforting us.

Mother Mary, by understanding that the gift of your Son would bring the world eternal life and salvation, you made a true gift of self donation. You have helped us understand how to make a true sacrifice.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be …

Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His cross.

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Simon, an innocent bystander in the crowd, is randomly selected by Roman guards to help Jesus carry His cross. Although Simon didn’t have any say in the matter, he assisted Jesus anyways without complaining. He selflessly gave his time and energy in helping someone he didn’t even know personally.

Dear Lord, help us to be like Simon by putting the good of others before our own personal well-being. Give us the strength to help others with their crosses. As Pope Benedict XVI said, “God’s love for us is fundamental for our lives.” Help us to show that love to others as Simon of Cyrene showed it to Jesus. Amen.

Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory Be ...

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