Tradition holds that Jesus stumbled and fell three times along his road to Crucifixion, crushed by the heavy load of the Cross but willing to continue so that humanity would be spared the burden of its weight.
As you pray this station, meditate upon the crushing burdens that today afflict God’s creation, and how those burdens prevent humanity’s full flourishing in the peace and freedom God intends for us. One such burden is the reality of crushing debt in the developing world. Many impoverished countries are repaying enormous sums of debt, often acquired by past corrupt regimes or through predatory lending practices from the world community in the Cold War era. These annual debt-service payments to wealthy international creditors hinder poor nations’ ability to spend on the health, education and well-being of their people. As an example, the U.S. will contribute more than $4 billion to the fight against HIV/AIDS globally this year. The countries that will benefit most from that $4 billion will pay more than $9 million in debt service.
To learn more – and find out what you and your faith community can do – visit Jubilee USA, of which The Episcopal Church is a member, at http://www.jubileeusa.org/.
Image: Jesus Bearing the Cross Jacquemart de Hesdin, 1409 Tempera on Panel
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped; but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and was born in human likeness. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name.
Surely he has borne our griefs:
And carried our sorrows.
Let us pray.
O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Holy and Mighty,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy upon us.