The Second Station: Jesus is made carry the cross

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you.  Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

It’s a station about awareness.  I heard a woman speak once about her young son who lives with Autism.  She said she went to a local supermarket to do her shopping and as she was leaving the shop her son held onto the door of the shop and would not let go.  He began to scream and lash out.  She tried to get him to leave but to no avail.  He screamed and drew massive attention to them both.  As she tried to hold on to his hand the bags of groceries she was carrying fell from her hands and their contents poured out across the pavement.  All the while the child held the door, refused to budge and shouted.  She tried to gather the bits and pieces and put them into the bag, whose handles had broken.  As all this went on, people walked past her on the street – all but one – a man who walked up to her as she was bent over gathering her shopping with one hand and trying to keep hold of her child with the other.  He looked down at her and said “You’d want to put some manners on that child”.  He walked on and she said she collapsed on the street and cried.

The Cross comes in many shapes and forms and is always uninvited and unwelcome.  People try to meet it in different ways.  This woman, burdened beneath the weight of a cross not of her own making, needed support rather than criticism, a lift up rather than a put down and compassion rather than condemnation.

As we see the cross placed on Jesus’ shoulders, maybe we could let our gaze and empathy wander to the shop door and to a young mother dealing with a very difficult situation.

Oh, that today we would listen to his voice, let us harden not our hearts.

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