Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eucharistic Way of the Cross: Ninth Station

Jesus Falls the Third Time

Jesus has nearly reached His destination, but is overcome once again with exhaustion and collapses once more. Bloodied and bruised, He must lift Himself up off the ground and face His executioners.

At Mass:

The priest elevates the consecrated bread and wine, which has been transformed into the Body and Blood of our Lord. As we reflect on the Stations of the Cross and Jesus’ third fall, we might imagine the priest lifting up Jesus’ Body, holding Him up so that He can fulfill His mission. As He hold’s Christ’s broken Body, the celebrant proclaims:

“Through him, with him, and in him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.”

And we reply: “Amen.”

This is the “Great Amen” – when we give our assent to the great mystery of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. Amen; I believe; I stake my life on it.

The irony of Jesus’ redemptive death is that He became weak and powerless (in our own human estimation) and succumbed to a humiliating death. And it was in this weakness that He triumphed over sin. As He fell a third and final time His weakness and frailty must have seemed impossible to overcome. Yet we hold up His Body and proclaim: “…all glory and honor is yours, almighty Father, for ever and ever.”

[For an explanation of this series of meditations on the Way of the Cross see this Introduction.]

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