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JOSEPH FHRICH (1800-1876)

Jesus carries his cross

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 Matthew 27:27-31

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they spat upon him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, and put his own clothes on him, and they led him away to crucify him.

From the Gospel of John 19:17

Jesus went out, bearing his own cross, to the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha.



Condemnation is followed by humiliation. What the soldiers do to Jesus seems inhuman to us. Indeed, it is inhuman: these are acts of mockery and contempt which express a dark savagery, indifferent to the suffering, including physical suffering, needlessly inflicted upon someone already condemned to the ghastly torture of the cross. And yet the behaviour of the soldiers is also, sadly, all too human. A thousand pages from the books of the history of humanity and the daily news confirm that actions of this kind are not at all foreign to man. The Apostle Paul has clearly expressed this paradox: “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh: For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Rom 7:18-19).

And so it is: in our conscience shines the light of goodness, a light which in many cases is bright and guides us, fortunately, in our decisions. But often the opposite occurs: this light becomes obscured by resentment, by unspeakable cravings, by the perversion of our heart. And then we become cruel, capable of the worst, even of things unbelievable.

Lord Jesus, I am one of those who reviled and struck you. It was you yourself who said, “What you have done to one of the least of my brethren, you have done to to me” (Mt 25:40). Lord Jesus, forgive me.



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.

Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.


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