Jesus falls the third time

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

Once more Christ has fallen to the ground under the weight of the Cross. The crowd watches, wondering whether he will have the strength to rise again.

Saint Paul writes: “Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8).

The third fall seems to express just this:
the self-emptying, the kenosis of the Son of God,
his humiliation beneath the Cross.
Jesus had said to the disciples that he had come not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20:28).
In the Upper Room, bending low to the ground and washing their feet, he sought, as it were, to prepare them for this humiliation of his.
Falling to the ground for the third time on the way of the Cross, he cries out loudly to us once more the mystery of himself.
Let us listen to his voice!
This Condemned Man, crushed to the ground beneath the weight of the Cross, now very near the place of punishment, tells us: “I am the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).
Let us not be dismayed by the sight of a condemned man, who falls to the ground exhausted under the cross.
Within this outward sign of the death which is approaching the light of life lies hidden.


Lord Jesus Christ,
through your humiliation beneath the Cross
you revealed to the world the price of its redemption.
Grant to the men and women of the third millennium
the light of faith,
so that, as they recognize in you
the Suffering Servant of God and man,
they may have the courage to follow the same path
which, by way of the Cross and self-emptying,
leads to life without end.
To you, O Jesus, our support when we are weak,
be honour and glory for ever.

R. Amen.


Our Father ...

Stabat Mater:

O you Mother, fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.