We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
I mentioned before a priest called Fr Leo Morahan – I heard him speak one time about an elderly woman who used visit the church beside the school when he was a child. The children would go in to watch her as she prayed the Stations of The Cross. She’d not know they were watching since she was immersed in the journey she was making. She’d have no text book with her or no particular formula. She’d just walk from station to station, spend a while at one, a longer time at another – maybe say something, maybe not. He said that quite often at the ninth station she might say something like “you’re down again” …. simple but true.
“You’re down again”. That’s the truth of it. This station shows us the Lord stretched again beneath the burden of the Cross. Despite Simon’s help, the weight of the cross and tiredness of limbs lays him low.
This image of Jesus, though not easy to look at, speaks to the vulnerability in all of us. How quickly we can be laid low! How easily we can be broken! How ultimately fragile we all are.
“Fragile” – yeah maybe that’s the word. When something “fragile” is sent in the mail or by courier it usually has attached the simple but vital message “handle with care”.
Maybe this station is calling us to “handle with care” the humanity that is around us – the family, friends and neighbours around us. To do anything else could all too easily lead to their fall. To be handled any other way, likewise, to ours.
Oh, that today we would listen to his voice, let us harden not our hearts.