|The Way of the Cross|
"The Way of the Cross is important, especially at this time of year, since Christians regard Lent as preparation for Easter," said Fr. Kevin White, S.J., coordinator of Mission and Identity for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.
"By prayerfully accompanying Jesus on his way of suffering and death, our gratitude for God’s gift of redemption grows stronger. And in this gratitude, we become more interested in assisting our sisters and brothers who suffer so terribly today."
The Way of the Cross is a prayer in which we accompany Jesus by recalling events in his suffering and death on our behalf. It's an old tradition in the Church, beginning with pilgrims to Jerusalem venerating the actual spots that Jesus passed on the way to Calvary. Years later, for those Christians unable to journey to Jerusalem, there were replicas and images placed in their local churches where ‘pilgrims’ made the ‘journey to Jerusalem’ to be with the Lord. This is the current practice.
"The biblical Way of the Cross sheds light on the tragic role of the various characters involved, and the struggle between light and darkness, between truth and falsehood, which they embody. They all participate in the mystery of the Passion, taking a stance for or against Jesus, the sign of contradiction (Luke 2, 34), and thus revealing their hidden thoughts with regard to Christ," wrote Archbishop Piero Marini when served as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations at the Vatican.
"Making the Way of the Cross, we, the followers of Jesus, must declare once more our discipleship: weeping like Peter for sins committed; opening our hearts to faith in Jesus the suffering Messiah, like the Good Thief; remaining there at the foot of the Cross of Christ like the Mother and the Disciple, and there with them receiving the Word which redeems, the Blood which purifies, the Spirit which gives life," said Bishop Marini.