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Way of the Cross - 20th Century
Society of the Divine Word Generalate Archives - Rome

FIFTH STATION
Jesus is judged by Pilate

 

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

From the Gospel according to Mark 15: 12-15

And Pilate again said to them, "Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?". And they cried out, "Crucify him". And Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?". But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him". So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. 

MEDITATION

Pilate appeared powerful, he was in a position to determine the life or death of Jesus. He enjoyed that ironic reference to the "King of the Jews", but in truth he was weak, wretched and servile. He was afraid of the Emperor Tiberius, he was afraid of the people, he was afraid of the chief priests, while nevertheless despising them in his heart. He handed Jesus over to be crucified, knowing that he was innocent.

In his vain attempt to save Jesus, he ended up granting freedom to a dangerous murderer.

To no avail he sought to wash those hands, dripping with innocent blood.

Pilate is the image of all those who wield authority as an instrument of power, having no regard for justice.

PRAYER

Jesus, through your courage in declaring yourself king, you sought to awaken Pilate to the voice of his conscience. Enlighten the consciences of the many people in positions of authority, so that they may recognize the innocence of your followers. Give them the courage to respect religious freedom.

The temptation to cultivate the powerful and oppress the weak is very widespread. And the powerful are those who wield authority, those who control trade and the mass media; but there are also people who allow themselves to be easily manipulated by the powerful into oppressing the weak. How could those people cry out "Crucify him!", after they had known you as a compassionate friend, one who had only ever done good to everyone?

All:

Pater noster, qui es in clis:
sanctificetur nomen tuum;
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua, sicut in clo, 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.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?

 

Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

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