Jesus is condemned to death and is led out to carry his cross to Calvary. He meets his mother in a heart-rending exchange. Simon of Cyrene is pressed into service; Veronica receives Jesus' image on her veil. (Mt 27:32-34; Mk 15:21-23; Lk 23:26-31; Jn 19:5-17)
1. (S) Pilate brings Jesus out before the crowd in his pitiable state and says, "Behold the man." When they see him, they shout, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
2. (S) "...Do you want me to crucify your king?" asks Pilate. The chief priests answer, "We have no king but Caesar." Finally, Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified.
3. (A) Jesus' cross is thrown at his feet. He kneels down before it and kisses it while offering a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father for the work of redemption he has begun.
4. (A) Jesus takes up his cross and begins his journey to Calvary. His bare feet are swollen and bleeding; he appears half fainting from exhaustion, and is suffering from loss of blood and severe thirst.
5. (A) Mary, her eyes red with weeping, her cheeks pale as death, and her lips almost blue, awaits the procession. The Romans discover who she is and make fun of her.
6. (A) Jesus sees his mother, staggers and falls. Mary, moved beyond restraint, runs to his side and embraces him. The sword (of Simeon) pierces her heart.
7. (S) Jesus continues, weaker at each step. Fearing he will die before they get to Calvary, the soldiers force a reluctant Simon of Cyrene to help Our Lord.
8. (A,T) A woman of "majestic appearance" emerges from a house along the way, makes her way through the crowd to Jesus and offers him her veil. "Allow me to wipe my Lord's face," she says.
9. (A) Veronica, the name she is later known by,* returns to her house and discovers the image of Jesus on her veil. She falls to her knees before it.
10. (S) Jesus sees the women mourning for him. He turns to them and says, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but for yourselves and for your children..."
(S) "...The days will come when people will say, 'Happy are those who are barren...' They will say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!"
*The name Veronica comes from ver icon, meaning "true portrait."
O, my Jesus...
Arriving at Golgotha, Jesus is stripped, and then crucified between two thieves. The on-lookers jeer at Our Lord. One thief abuses him; the other rebukes the first and defends Jesus, and is rewarded for it. Finally, Jesus cries out and expires. (Mt. 27:33-54; Mk. 15:22-39; Lk. 23:32- 49; Jn. 19:18-30)
1. (S) When they arrive at Golgotha, they offer Jesus some wine to drink, mixed with myrrh* but he refuses it. The soldiers remove his clothes and prepare to cast lots for them.
2. (S) Jesus is crucified between two robbers. Pilate writes out a notice and has it attached to the cross. It reads, "Jesus the Nazarene, king of the Jews"**
3. (S) The passers-by jeer at Jesus, "So you would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself! If you are God's son, come down from the cross!"
4. (S) The chief priests and scribes add, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross now that we may see and believe.
5. (S) One of the criminals being crucified abuses Our Lord: "Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us as well." Jesus says, "Father forgive them. They know not what they do."
6. (S) The other thief rebukes the first: "Have you no fear of God at all? You got the same sentence he did but in our case we deserved it; we are paying for what we did..."
7. (S) "...but this man has done no wrong, "he adds."Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus responds, "Indeed, this day you will be with me in paradise."
8. (S) Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved nearby, Jesus says, "Woman, behold your son," and to the disciple, "Behold your mother."
9. (S) From noon until three o'clock there is darkness over the land. Toward three o'clock, Jesus calls out, "I thirst"; and then, "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"
10. (S) Finally, Jesus cries out, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit," and he expires. At this, the veil of the temple is torn in two.
(S) The earth quakes; rocks are split. The centurian standing there says, "Truly, this was the Son of God."
*myrhh - a bitter tasting gum resin used with wine to deaden pain
**This was written in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. The Latin, "Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaorum," is abbreviated INRI.
O, my Jesus...