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OFFICE FOR THE LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF

WAY OF THE CROSS
AT THE COLOSSEUM

LED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE
BENEDICT XVI

GOOD FRIDAY 2012


MEDITATIONS BY

Danilo and Anna Maria Zanzucchi

Focolare Movement
 Founders of the “New Families” Movement

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Jesus tells us: “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross each day and follow me”. This is an invitation addressed to everyone: to those who are married and those who are single, to young people, adults and the elderly, to the rich and poor, and to people of every nationality.  It is also meant for every family, for its individual members and for the little community as a whole. 

Before entering upon his final sufferings, Jesus, in the Garden of Olives, left alone by his sleeping Apostles and fearful of what awaited him, turned to his Father and asked: “If it is possible, let this chalice pass from me”.  Yet he immediately added: “Not my will, but yours be done”. 

In that dramatic and solemn moment, a profound lesson is offered to all those who choose to follow him.  As with each individual Christian, so each family has its own way of the cross, marked by sickness, death, financial troubles, poverty, betrayal, wrongdoing, clashes with relatives, natural disasters. 

Yet each Christian, each family, in walking this path of sorrows, can look resolutely to Jesus, man and God. 

Together let us enter once more into Jesus’ final experience on earth, an experience received from the Father’s hands: an experience both sorrowful and sublime, one in which Jesus distilled the most precious lessons of his life and teaching.  In this way we can learn to live our own lives fully, on the model of his own.


OPENING PRAYER

The Holy Father:

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

R. Amen.

The lector:

Let us pray.

A moment of silence follows

Jesus,
at the hour when we recall your death,
we wish to fix our loving gaze
on the unspeakable sufferings which you endured. 

These sufferings were gathered up in your mysterious cry
from the Cross before you drew your last breath:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 

Jesus, you seem a twilight God:
a Son without a Father,
a Father lacking his Son. 

That cry, human and divine,
which pierced the air on Golgotha,
challenges and confounds us even today;
it shows us that an unprecedented event has taken place. 

An event which saves us:
from death has come forth life,
from darkness, light,
from complete separation, unity. 

Our thirst to be conformed to you
leads us to see you forsaken,
everywhere and in every way,
amid our individual and collective pain,
in your Church’s sufferings and in humanity’s dark nights,
and everywhere and in every way
to bring your life, to spread your light, to beget your unity. 

Then as now,
were you not forsaken,
we would have no Easter. 

R.   Amen.

 

Copyright 2012 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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