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JOSEPH FHRICH (1800-1876)

Jesus is condemned to death

V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
R/. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From the Gospel of John 19:6-7, 12, 16

When the chief priests and the officers saw Jesus, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no crime in him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and by that law he ought to die, because he has made himself the Son of God”…
Upon this, Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend; every one who makes himself a king sets himself against Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.



Why was Jesus, the one who “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38), condemned to death? This question will accompany us along the Way of the Cross, even as it accompanies us throughout our lives.

In the Gospels we find a true answer: the Jewish leaders wanted his death because they understood that Jesus considered himself the Son of God. We also find an answer that the Jews used as a pretext, in order to obtain his condemnation from Pilate: Jesus pretended to be a king of this world, the king of the Jews.

But behind this answer there opens up an abyss, to which the Gospels and indeed all of Sacred Scripture direct our gaze: Jesus died for our sins. And on an even deeper level, he died for us, he died because God loves us and he loves us even to giving us his only Son, that we might have life through him (cf. Jn 3:16-17).

It is to ourselves, then, that we must look: to the evil and the sin which dwell within us and which all too often we pretend to ignore. Yet all the more should we turn our eyes to the God who is rich in mercy, and who has called us his friends (cf. Jn 15:15). Thus the Way of the Cross and the entire journey of our life becomes a way of penance, pain and conversion, but also of gratitude, faith and joy.


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.

Stabat mater dolorosa,
iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.


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