V/. We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
From the Book of Psalms 41:6-10
My foes are speaking evil against me. ‘How long before he dies and his name be forgotten?’ They come to visit me and speak empty words, their hearts full of malice, they spread it abroad. My enemies whisper together against me. They all weigh up the evil which is on me; some deadly thing has fastened upon him, he will not rise again from where he lies. Thus even my friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has turned against me.
Once more Jesus falls beneath the cross. He was, of course, physically exhausted and mortally wounded at heart. He felt the burden of his rejection by those who from the outset had obstinately opposed his mission. He felt the burden, in the end, of his rejection by the very people who seemed so full of admiration and even enthusiasm for him. Thus, gazing at the city which he loved so much, Jesus had cried out: “Jerusalem, Jerusalem … how often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Mt 23:37). He felt the awful burden of his betrayal by Judas, his abandonment by the disciples at the hour of greatest trial; and in particular he felt the burden of his triple denial by Peter.
We know too that he was burdened down by the incalculable weight of our sins, the accumulation of offenses that down the centuries has accompanied the history of humanity.
And so, let us ask God, humbly yet confidently: Father, rich in mercy, help us not to add more weight to the cross of Jesus. In the words of Pope John Paul II, who died five years ago tonight: “the limit imposed upon evil, of which man is both perpetrator and victim, is ultimately Divine Mercy” (Memory and Identity, p. 60)
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Pro peccatis suae gentis
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