The Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady Immaculate & St Thomas of Canterbury. Mother Church of the Diocese of Northampton
Stations of the Cross admin
The Stations of the Cross at the Cathedral
1st - Jesus is condemned to death
They led Jesus off to the house of Caiaphas, the high priest….Pilate took some water, washed his hands and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” Matthew 26: 27, 24.
This scene is at the beginning of the journey of Jesus to Calvary. It arises from the violent and menacing mob shouting for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate could not control the crowd, these official figures, represent the law, and stand above and removed from the crowd. It’s very easy for us to join our voice to the crowd, much more difficult to stand up and be a voice for the vulnerable or condemned person.
No one is above the law of LOVE.
My people, what have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
I ask forgiveness for the times when I have joined the ‘crowd’ and have not spoken up for the vulnerable ones.
2nd - Jesus bears his cross
Carrying his own cross, he went to the Place of the Skull, as it is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. John 19 : 17
Dear Jesus, you carry the cross for me, the pain and humiliation you bear for me, holding tight to the cross for my sins. Help me, dear Jesus, to carry my cross in every aspect of my life, not to let go, no matter what life sends me, dear Jesus, every step of the way.
3rd - Jesus falls for the first time
Crushed because of our guilt. The punishment reconciling us fell on him, and we have been healed by his bruises. Isaiah 53 : 5 – 7
Jesus is feeling the weight of the cross. He is about to meet his mother and we feel Mary’s pain as she follows her Son. I hear the cries of those around him. I see the grotesqueness of what is happening. I am aware of the pain he suffered for me. One of the onlookers is wearing glasses, which made me think of how blind I can be to the pain and suffering of others.
4th - Jesus meets his Blessed Mother
His mother kept all these things in her heart. Luke 2 : 51
Jesus, as a mother, I remember the times I cared for you as a child, washing and clothing you. How I wish I could help you now. All I can do is walk with you. I hear the insults and see the sweat and blood pouring from your body. I feel sad that, sometimes, we don’t have time to care.
5th - Jesus is helped by Simon
They seized a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the countryside, to carry his cross. Mark 15 : 21
Heavenly Father, help me to have helping hands and comforting words. Help me not to be judgmental when others don’t help. Thank you for the comforting hands of others.
6th - Veronica presents a towel
I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me. Matthew 25.40
Jesus’ blood and sweat and tears stain the linen cloth offered to relieve and refresh expressing tenderness and love in the midst of all the violence and brutality.
Saying to the Lord, ‘I care’ even if others don’t. And now that cloth will for ever say to its owner ‘I love you this much.’
7th - Jesus falls the second time
Anyone who does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14 : 27
After Veronica has wiped the face of Jesus, he falls again under the weight of the cross. Jesus, I see agony in your eyes as the heavy burden crushes you under its weight. Let us
have compassion on those who are crushed under the weight of their burdens, that we may come alongside them and help them ease their pain.
8th - Jesus comforts the women
Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. Luke 27.28
Jesus’ meets the women of Jerusalem. Encountering him is always encouraging. His words caution, and invite them to be open and alert. Even in his agony he responds to their confusion and fear, bringing a startling peace. He bears their all disappointments bringing them consolation.
May we care enough to let the needs to others obscure our own sorrows.
9th - Jesus falls the Third Time
His yoke is on my neck, he has deprived me of strength. Lamentations 1: 14
Sometimes I am the yoke for others. Sometimes I support another’s yoke. Sometimes I don’t even see it. The Lord, in his understanding of us, lightens the load and shows us the way. He calls us to trust in him and to give ourselves wholly to him, no matter what moment we are in. he died in love so that we can live in his love. Lord, you loved us to death. Thank you.
10th - Jesus stripped of his garments
They took Jesus’ clothing and divided it into four shares. John 19 : 23
Jesus, you have just fallen. You are getting near to Calvary. You are bruised and taunted. Broken, you suffer the last indignity when they strip you of your garments. Even your apostles abandon you. Today so many people are bruised, helpless and broken, abandoned without anyone to help them. How can I respond?
11th - Jesus nailed to the Cross
All who see me jeer at me, they sneer and wag their heads. Psalm 22
We should always approach the suffering of Christ through the words of scripture.
12th - Jesus dies on the cross
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27 : 46
God had revealed, at the baptism of Jesus that “this is my beloved Son, listen to him” but, in the summer heat, soldiers and politicians whipped up hatred and wanted to be as destructive as possible. With the disciple Jesus loved and with his Mother, there was a weepy finish. They acted as a shield around Jesus against the hostility of the crowd. Death was a merciful release from Christ’s temporal sufferings. The utterances of the thief beside him show his belief about going to Paradise. He quotes a psalm which ends with “I shall trust in God yet”. In this faith Christ gave up his Spirit and died. Still the people did not understand.
13th - Jesus taken from the cross
Peace be with you, my own peace I give you; a peace which the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. John 14 : 27
Mother Mary holds our Lord Jesus, who has just died on the cross. I share the agony of a mother over a son’s distress and sadness. It is painful, feeling helpless. It is the time to ask for the divine mercy.
14th - Jesus is placed in the tomb
Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain. If it dies, it yields a rich harvest. John 12 : 24
I hear the silence and stillness of the grave. I realize that all life comes to this. There is no part of our life here on earth that has not been sanctified by our Lord Jesus – so there is no fear.