Were You There?


Many years ago, when I was pastor at Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rocky Mount VA, I invited parishioners to pen some meditations on the Way of the Cross. I asked them to imagine themselves as eyewitnesses to the events that we remember and celebrate this week. The result was some of the most powerful meditations on the Passion of our Lord. I didn’t hang on to all of them. All I kept is what we have in one version of the Way of the Cross we use at the parish. Won’t you give it a try? And share it with us. Remember to stay in character, both in time and place. Those who will read your meditation can take from it whatever they want. And try to make just one point. Or start a new meditation. Send them in (fr.rolo@gmail.com) and with your permission (after careful review–it is my blog after all), I’ll post them and give you proper credit.

Scriptural Way of the Cross:

  1. The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives
  2. The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
  3. The Sanhedrin Condemns Jesus
  4. Peter Denies Jesus
  5. Pilate Condemns Jesus to the Cross
  6. Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns
  7. Jesus is Mocked by the Soldiers and Given His Cross
  8. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross
  9. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
  10. Jesus is Crucified
  11. Jesus Promises Paradise to the Repentant Criminal
  12. Jesus Speaks to His Mother and to His Disciple
  13. Jesus Dies on the Cross
  14. The Burial of Jesus


7. Jesus is Mocked by the Soldiers and Given His Cross. Like the condemned man, I am a carpenter by trade. I use my skills to assist in the punishment of criminals. I made the crossbeam Jesus carried to his death. But I was just doing my job. It puts food on the table, and a roof over our heads. I am not responsible for his death. Yes, I make crosses, but I don’t pick who carries them. It bothers me he died on something my own hands made. His hands fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, and welcomed the children. My hands built a cross on which he died. Did my indifference and apathy contribute to his death? But I was just doing my job.

We pray. The cross you carried is the cross I should bear. You chose to suffer punishment in my place. I never asked this of you. You chose suffering to show the depth of God’s love by your willingness to surrender your own life so I would not have to surrender mine. It was not for my sins that you carried your cross, but because of your love for me. This you have done, my Jesus, because of the incomparable depth of your compassion.

Rolo B Castillo © 2014

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