Scriptural way of the cross reflections

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  • PARACLETEVol. 8, Issue No. 2 Parish of the Holy Spirit, BF Homes, Quezon City March 2015

    The Lord, let your last breath be my first.

    ON MARCH 21, 2015, the Parish launched the Way of the Cross Garden. Located on the Pelayo St. side of the Church grounds (at the back of the Ruah Parish Center), it uses the traditional Way of the Cross and incorporates a new monument to the Risen Christ. All these are welcome additions to the image of Mary of the Poor which for a time solely adorned this section of the Church grounds. It is hoped that parishioners and their guests will frequently use the Way of the Cross Garden for private prayers and devotion, not just during the Lenten season but during other seasons at well. To celebrate this launching, and to aid everyone beginning this Lent, The Paraclete is publishing this Edition as a guide for the parishioners reflection on the Traditional Way of the Cross. Because of its length, it is recommended that these reflections be completed over several days. However, this is the modern version of the Traditional Stations of the Cross. Known as the Scriptural Stations of the Cross or the Scriptural Way of the Cross, it was inaugurated as a devotion by St. John Paul II on Good Friday, 1991. Thereafter St. John Paul II performed the scriptural version many times at the Colosseum in Rome on Good Fridays during his reign. The scriptural version was not intended to invalidate the traditional version, rather it was meant to add nuance to an understanding of the Passion. As a suggestion, one can do the reflections on the Scriptural Stations of the Cross (SS) while doing the Traditional (TS) as follows: SC 15 (TS 1); SC 67 (TS 23); SC 8 (TS 47); SC 9 (TS 810); SC 10-12 (TS 11); SC 13 (TS 12); SC 14 (TS 13-14).

    Our Way of the Cross Garden

    The First Station: Jesus on the Mount of Olives

  • The Paraclete March 2015 2

    Luke 22:39-46 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, Pray that you may not come into the time of trial. Then he withdrew from them about a stones throw, knelt down, and prayed, Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done. [Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial. Reflections: Jesus, why are you praying so intensely? I have seen you pray before you chose your disciples. I have seen you pray before the multiplication of loaves of bread and fish. I have seen you pray before you raised Lazarus from the dead. But I have never seen you pray this intensely. Why, you are even starting to sweat blood? Why so much anguish, O Lord? Is it because you can foresee the sufferings you will be undergoing in the next couple of hours? Is it because you can already imagine the pain of the scourging and the crowning of thorns and carrying of the cross? But Lord, you already know all this will happen. Isnt this why you came down to earth? To suffer and die for us. Or is it because you feel your loved ones do not even have a clue as to what you will be undergoing? Look at Peter, James and John. They are sleeping so soundly. And when the time comes, except for John, they will abandon you. Or is it because you feel that all your sufferings will turn into naught? That men will not change their ways. That men will be ungrateful and continue to offend you. Many will even curse you, mock you, blaspheme you. So you may ask yourself, what for are all these sufferings that I have to undergo if countless reprobates will still go to Hell because of their sinfulness. Prayer: Lord, forgive me for also being one of these ingrates. Forgive me for finding it okay to commit venial sins not knowing that they also hurt you very much. Forgive me for neglecting to examine my conscience daily and saying an Act of Contrition. I thank you for understanding me. For continuing to give me second chances. For continuing to love me in spite of my wretchedness. Amen. Resolution: Starting today, I will try my best to examine my conscience at the end of the day, before I retire and say a sincere Act of Contrition. I will also try my best to make a confession once a month. Suggested reading:

    The Second Station: Jesus, Betrayed by Judas, Is Arrested

    Luke 22:47-48 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him,

    Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man? Reflections: Lord, why is Judas betraying you? Isnt he one of your disciples? Did he betray You because he was disap-pointed? He joined your group, convinced that you are the man that that will redeem the Jews from the oppression of the Roman Empire. He entertained ambitions of holding a high position in the Kingdom when you have finally estab-lished it. Maybe, he was hoping to be the Treasurer of all the riches of the Kingdom. And when he saw that he was wrong, he must have felt he wasted all these years with you. He got angry and his mind got poisoned by the devil.

    How painful this must be for you, O Lord, that one of your chosen ones will be betraying you! You have been together for three years. You have been so good to him and loving him. It would have been better if he left you like the other disciples did, when they could not accept your teachings on the Eucharist. That may have been more forgiveable. But he turned against you and delivered you to your enemies. And to top it all, he betrays you with a kiss. A kiss is a symbol of love and affection. A kiss is a gesture of friendship and respect. But he has turned the kiss into a symbol of treachery and betrayal. He could have just pointed you among the crowd. He did not have to kiss you. But he did. Oh, what a wretched person, this Judas is. But Lord, hasnt there also been a Judas in me many times before? I receive you in Holy Communion, but the same tongue that receives you becomes a poison tongue against people. I must have committed countless times the sin of gossip by saying unkind things towards other people. Sometimes, I pray with hands clasped together and asking you for so many things. But when I come across a poor person right outside the Church asking for bread, the same hands refuse to reach to my pockets

  • The ParacleteMarch 2015 3

    and give the person some small money to buy food. Also like Judas, sometimes I expect to get something in return for all the novenas that I make, the Masses I attend and serve, the money I give to the Church. And when I dont get that something, I rebel. I even feel worse when instead of getting something good, I get something bad like getting sick, or running out of money or seeing my loved ones suffer. In other cases, I do not make good use of the blessings and graces you have showered on me. Prayer: Lord, forgive me for the many times, I acted like Judas. You have been so good to me. You have showered me with countless graces and blessings and yet, I do not make good use of them. And forgive me Lord, whenever I have a tendency to focus on temporal and worldly things instead of spiritual things. Help me to have the strength to choose you against creatures and worldly things. Amen. Resolution: Lord, starting today, I resolve to spend more time in spiritual readings and cut down on my leisure and entertainment time.

    Suggested reading:

    The Third Station: Jesus is Condemned by the Sanhedrin

    Luke 22:66-71 When day came, the assembly of the

    elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, If you are the Messiah, tell us. He replied, If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God. All of them asked, Are you, then, the Son of God? He said to them, You say that I am. Then they said, What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips! Reflections: Lord, why do you answer questions like this? Why dont you just tell them categorically, that you are the Messiah and prove to them once and for all that you are God? Like turning one of these elders into a rat in front of his peers. That would surely make them kneel and bow their heads and acknowledge You as their Lord. But then, again, was this the whole point of your mission here on earth? Did You come here just to let people know You are God? No! You have no need for that kind of recognition. You know You are God and You do not need anyone to confirm that. No praise is needed to add glory to Your Name. You came to earth to die and save us from our sins. And You came to earth to show us how to live our lives here on earth so that one day we may live our lives in heaven. You wanted people to focus on Your teachings. On the virtues You manifest. On your love, mercy and compassion. On how you communion with your Father. Also, Lord, why do the elders still ask you this question? Havent they seen the signs? You have given them so many signs; the healing, the multiplication of loaves of bread and fish; the raising of Lazarus from t