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Via Crucis, Felix Anton Scheffler - 1757
Church of Saint Martin - Ischl, Seeon (Diocese of München) - Germany

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother

V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R/. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

From the Gospel according to Matthew 27:55, 57-58; 17:22-2

There were also many women there, looking on from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him.
When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.  He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.  Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them:
“The Son of man is to be delivered  into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day”.
And they were greatly distressed.



The deed is done:
we have killed Jesus![1]

And Christ’s wounds continue to sting
in Mary’s heart,
as one sorrow
envelops both Mother and Child.

The Pietà!  The sorrowing Mother and her Son!
The scene cries out to us, it brings distress and pain
even to those used to inflicting pain on others.

The Pietà!  We almost seem
to feel compassion for God
and yet – once again –
it is God who feels compassion for us.

The Pietà!  Our pain
is no longer hopeless,
nor will it ever be hopeless again,
for God has come to suffer with us.

And with God, can we ever be hopeless?

[1]  Zech 12:10.



O Mary,
in your Son you embrace every son and daughter,
and share in the anguish of every mother throughout the world.

O Mary,
your tears continue to fall in every age;
they bathe the faces
and mirror the grief of every man and woman.

O Mary,
you have known sorrow ... yet you still believe!
You believe that clouds do not darken the sun,
you believe that night gives way to dawn.

O Mary,
you who sang the Magnificat,[2]
lead us in the song that conquers sorrow
like the birth pangs that bring forth new life.

O Mary,
pray for us!
Pray that we too may experience
the infectious power of true hope.

[2]  Lk 1:46-55.



Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie;
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris;
et ne nos inducas in tentationem;
sed libera nos a malo.

Fac me vere tecum flere,
Crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.


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