You are reported to have fallen three times
under the weight of the cross on Your climb
to Mount Calvary, while being goaded, mocked and whipped by Roman guards, and jeered
by the unsympathetic people along the way.

Your Passion is now represented on the walls
of every Catholic church and chapel
by the Stations of the Cross.

Usually the actual "stations,"
which are small wood crosses,
are accompanied by artistic depictions
of the events in plaques or statuary.

As You know, In the past, the depictions
were often large paintings which emphasized the gory aspects of the events.

Today they are likely to be small
and rather abstract, so that the observer must add an extrapolation from the art
to get a sense of the brutal event as bloody
and horrific "in real time."

To envision You, Jesus Christ God,
fallen and bleeding on the rocky path
is disturbing and depressing,
but we must not look away.

To meditate on Your human anguish, humiliation, and physical pain gives us
a salutary sense of the degradation
and bloody injury which You, Our Lord
and Divine Creator, took upon Yourself
in sacrificial atonement for the failings
of all mankind, including me.

To recall from our own experience a scraped knee, a hurtful fall, or a bleeding cut, helps us to approach an understanding
of the mystery of the Incarnation:
You, Jesus, God, becoming Man, and painfully expiating the sins of the world, and indeed my very own personal faults and failures.

As You know, Lord, with astonishing insight, ten-year old Jack Potts, II, of Houston, Texas, made a stunning photographic interpretation which he called Jesus Falls
the Second Time.

His picture, posed with with his childhood neighbors and friends, brings Your passion
to us in a riveting contemporary context.

We see in the background the cruel, mocking crowd, and the one little girl in blue, representing Your mother Mary, who stands apart, helpless and appalled
at their heartless cruelty.

Lord Jesus Crucified, when I feel aches
and pains, scratches or cuts, or suffer hatred or anger, or stumble, or am in any way mocked, let me be reminded always
of the excruciating agony and humiliation which You, my Creator and Maker of the world, endured for our sake.

Save us Lord! Forgive us, Lord!
We know not what we do.
Have mercy on us all!




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