Meditations and prayers prepared by sister Minke and presented to Pope John Paul II for the celebration of the Stations of the Cross in the Colloseum, Rome, Italy, on Good Friday, 14 April 1995.
From the Introduction:
We are here so that together we may follow Jesus on his way of love, his way of the Cross. We are going to follow him step by step through his Passion, as the Gospel of St. Mark describes it to us, beginning at Gethsemane. We shall contemplate Jesus as he endures rejection, torture and scorn… all without ever closing his heart to those who did it. We shall go with him all the way to the most abject pf deaths. (…)
For our world – all of humanity, even all creation – is in agony. (…) A cry of immense suffering goes up towards God.
The source of this suffering is in being so far away from God. Jesus carried this to its uttermost consequence, death, and in this way he overcame it. « Suffering has to be borne in order for it to pass away… and in the very act of drinking the cup Jesus causes it to pass away. » (Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship)
He took upon himself that weight of sin which separates us so easily from the Father and from one another, in our families, as couples, in communities and in nations; within the Church itself, the body of Christ ; between nations and peoples, and between different churches.
The mystery of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, of his death and of his Resurrection, is at the centre of that faith of all Christians. Source of our unity and of our reconciliation, the Cross is planted at the heart of the Church’s history and the world’s history, and also at the heart of each of our personal stories.
On this journey, we shall be confronted with our own ways of finding it impossible to follow Jesus to the very end, impossible to give a true response to the infinite love of God. The roots of fear, of contempt, of hate, of desire for power, of domination, all that divides and separates… don’t we find them also within ourselves?
However, as we follow Jesus through his Passion, may we grasp more profoundly just how far he went with his compassion, and what that means as a hope offered to us today, to the entire Church and to the world.
Come, Holy Spirit,
Enlighten the eyes of our hearts
That we may meditate upon our Saviour’s journey,
And keep him in our hearts, like his mother Mary
She followed him to the very end,
She buried him;
A sword pierced her heart,
But she never lost her trust,
She who, three days later, saw him resurrected!