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OFFICE FOR THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

WAY OF THE CROSS
AT THE COLOSSEUM

LED BY THE HOLY FATHER
BENEDICT XVI

GOOD FRIDAY 2010


MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS BY

His Eminence
Cardinal CAMILLO RUINI
Vicar General Emeritus of His Holiness
for the Diocese of Rome

INTRODUCTION

 

SONG

R. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi,
quia per Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

 

1. Per lignum servi facti sumus, et per sanctam Crucem liberati sumus. R.

2. Fructus arboris seduxit nos, Filius Dei redemit nos. R.

 

MEDITATION

When the Apostle Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father,” he replied, “Have I been with you all this time, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:8-9). This evening, as we accompany Jesus in our hearts while he makes his way beneath the cross, let us not forget those words. Even as he carries the cross, even in his death on the cross, Jesus remains the Son, who is one with God the Father. When we look upon his face disfigured by beating, weariness and inner suffering, we see the face of the Father. Indeed, it is precisely in this moment that God’s glory, his surpassing splendour, in some way becomes visible on the face of Jesus. In this poor, suffering man whom Pilate, in the hope of eliciting compassion, showed to the Jews with the words “Behold the man!” (Jn 19:5), we see revealed the true greatness of God, that mysterious grandeur beyond all our imagining.

Yet in the crucified Jesus we see revealed another kind of grandeur: our own greatness, the grandeur which belongs to every man and woman by the simple fact that we have a human face and heart. In the words of Saint Anthony of Padua, “Christ, who is your life, hangs before you, so that you can gaze upon the cross as if in a mirror… If you look upon him, you will be able to see the greatness of your dignity and worth… Nowhere else can we better recognize our own value, than by looking into the mirror of the cross” (Sermones dominicales et festivi, III, pp. 213-214). Jesus, the Son of God, died for you, for me, for each of us. In this way he gave us concrete proof of how great and precious we are in the eyes of God, the only eyes capable of seeing beyond all appearances and of peering into the depths of our being.

As we make the Way of the Cross, let us ask God to grant us this gaze of truth and love, so that, in union with him, we may become free and good.

 

The Holy Father:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
R
. Amen.

The Holy Father:

Let us pray.

 

A moment of silence follows

Lord God, almighty Father,
you know all things
and you see, hidden within our hearts, our great need for you.
Grant each of us the humility to acknowledge this need.
Free our mind from the pretension,
wrong-headed and even ridiculous,
that we can master the mystery which embraces us.
Free our will from the presumption,
equally nave and unfounded,
that we can create our own happiness
and the meaning of our lives.
Enlighten and purify our inner eye,
and enable us to recognize, free of all hypocrisy,
the evil which lies within us.
But grant us too,
in the light of the cross and resurrection of your only Son,
the certainty that, united to him and sustained by him,
we too can overcome evil with good.
Lord Jesus,
help us, in this spirit, to walk behind your cross.

R/. Amen.

 

 

Copyright 2010 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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