Praying the Stations of the Cross

First Station:  Jesus Prays in The Garden of Olives 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress. Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.” When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour? Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
(Matthew 26:36-41)

Meditation 

Help us realize, O God, that Jesus dreaded his death, just as we dread the dyings of our everyday lives.  Be with us now as we make the commitment again to embrace the difficult aspects of our life and, with your power, to pass through them to new life.

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us your strength and wisdom,
that we may seek to follow your will in all things.

All:  Our Father, who art in  heaven …


Second Station:   Jesus Is Betrayed by Judas

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

Then, while [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. His betrayer had arranged a signal with them, saying, “the man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him and lead him away securely.” He came and immediately went over to him and said, “Rabbi.” And he kissed him. At this they laid hands on him and arrested him.
(Mark 14: 43-46)

Meditation 

Judas betrayed Jesus but the real betrayal was of Judas’ own self.  Can we realize that our own life and destiny is bound tightly to Jesus?  Can we see how we have sometimes betrayed our true calling and in so doing also betrayed Jesus?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us the courage of our convictions
that our lives may faithfully reflect the good news you bring.

Jesus, 
you continue to love those who refuse your love 
and tirelessly search out those who betray you and abandon you. 

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father …


Third Station:  Jesus Is Condemned by The Sanhedrin 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

When day came the council of elders of the people met, both chief priests and scribes, and they brought him before their Sanhedrin. They said, “If you are the Messiah, tell us,” but he replied to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I question, you will not respond. But from this time on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further need have we for testimony? We have heard it from his own mouth.”
(Luke 22: 66-71)

Meditation 

O God, we are sometimes so reluctant to admit that we are also part of Christ, part of the Blessed One.  Take away the fear that we will be condemned as Jesus was.  Help us not be ashamed to claim Christ as our own.  

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us your sense of righteousness
that we may never cease to work
to bring about the justice of the kingdom that you promised.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father …


Fourth Station:  Peter Denies Jesus 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.
(Matthew 26: 69-75)

Meditation 

Can we admit the times we have denied your presence in the world by denying the truth of your love?  We pray for all those whom we have hurt and we offer forgiveness to all who have hurt us.

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us the gift of honesty
that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever.

All:  Our Father …


Fifth Station:  Jesus Is Judged by Pilate 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

The chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin, held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He said to him in reply, “You say so.” The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of.” Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed…. Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barrabas… [and] handed [Jesus] over to be crucified.
(Mark 15: 1-5, 15)

Meditation 

Pilate, the authority with the power of life and death, Pilate, who governed with an iron fist that obscure province of the Empire, dreaming of greater power, abdicates, he hands over an innocent man, and in so doing hands over his own authority, to a raucous crowd. 

The one who in silence had abandoned himself to the will of the Father is thus abandoned to the will of those who cry out loudest. 

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us discernment
that we may see as you see, not as the world sees.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


  Sixth Station:  Jesus Is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns 

  V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
  R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
  V/.  Let us take up our Cross
  R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

  Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged. And the soldiers     wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and       
  clothed him in a purple cloak, and they came to him and       
  said,”Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck him repeatedly.
  (John 19: 1-3)

Meditation 

Can we trust in the Lord when we feel beaten and overcome with suffering?  Can we trust in God when we feel most alone?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us patience in times of suffering
that we may offer our lives as a sacrifice of praise.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Seventh Station:  Jesus Takes up The Cross 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

When the chief priests and the guards saw [Jesus] they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I find no guilt in him.” … They cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
(John 19: 6, 15-17)

Meditation 

What is your cross?  What burden are your carrying?  What do you bear in order to be happy and at peace?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us strength of purpose
that we may faithfully bear our crosses each day.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Eighth Station: Jesus Is Helped by Simon of Cyrene

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 
(Luke 23:26 )

Meditation 

Can we see others near us, seated in this very church with us, carrying their crosses alone? Can we see beyond our own narrow lives into a vision that drives us to help carry the burden of others?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us willing spirits
that we may be your instruments on earth.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Ninth Station:  Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ At that time, people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ for if these things are done when the wood is green what will happen when it is dry?”
(Luke 23: 27-31)

Meditation 

Jesus warns us that if One Who Came to Speak the Truth is treated as badly as he was, the rest of us will surely also suffer.  How do you suffer when you speak the truth as Jesus did?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us gentle spirits
that we may comfort those who mourn.

R/ To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father …


Tenth Station: Jesus Is Crucified 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him and the criminals there, one on his right, the other on his left. [Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”]
(Luke 23: 33-34)

Meditation 

How can we understand what crucifixion is like?  Have we ourselves been held up, arms outstretched and vulnerable, a spectacle for all to see?  Have we been publicly ridiculed?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us merciful hearts
that we may bring your reconciliation and forgiveness to all.

R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father …


Eleventh Station: Jesus Promises His Kingdom to The Good Thief 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

 Now one of the criminals hanging there reviled Jesus, saying, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, “Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
(Luke 23: 39-43)

Meditation 

Can we accept the forgiveness of Jesus as he offers it to us?  Or do we hold our own sins against ourselves and one another?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us perseverance
that we may never stop seeking you.
R/. To you praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Twelfth Station: Jesus on The Cross, His Mother and His Disciple Below

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
John 19: 25-27

Meditation 

Jesus has given us to each other in the church for sharing love and knowing peace.  Let us offer thanksgiving for the energy of Jesus’ love present among us now.

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us constancy
that we may be willing to stand by those in need.
R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Thirteenth Station:  Jesus Dies on The Cross 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”; and when he had said this he breathed his last.
(Luke 23: 44-46)

Meditation 

Let us pause here to allow the death of Jesus to enter deeply into our consciousness, for we also enter into the death of the Lord.

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us trust in you
that when our time on earth in ended
our spirits may come to you without delay.

R/. To you praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Fourteenth Station:  Jesus Is Placed in The Tomb 

V/.  Let us enter into the Death of the Lord
R/.  Whose suffering led him to Grace.
V/.  Let us take up our Cross
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.
R/.  Let us follow the way of the Lord.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph, who was himself a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it [in] clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that he had hewn in the rock. Then he rolled a huge stone across the entrance to the tomb and departed.
(Matthew 27: 57-60)

Meditation 

We now wait for the Risen Lord to appear in our own lives and our own time.  Where do you see him?  How is he present among you?  within you?

Prayer 

Lord,
grant us your compassion
that we may always provide for those in need.
R/. To you be praise and glory forever. 

All:  Our Father … 


Stations of the Cross designed by parishioner Jim Bowman, and cast by Michael Kapetan.  
All rights reserved.

Meditations from Praying the Stations with Pope John Paul II by Bill Huebsch

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