For the Sake of His Sorrowful Passion

“There is more merit to one hour of meditating on my sorrowful passion than there is to a whole year of bloody scourging.” (Jesus to St. Faustina).

Take the next three days to read over the four gospel versions of the passion.  See how they differ in detail? See how each author has a different take on this amazing moment in history.

A few moments of walking through the passion and examining your own soul in preparation for the Resurrection is a beautiful Easter offering for Christ.

Let’s begin at the last supper…

Jesus washes the feet of the apostles:

Feel the water on your feet as he demonstrates the humility with which we are to serve one another…how can I embrace the humility he shows to serve another with joy, right here, right now…wherever God has placed me today? 

Breaking of the Bread

Taste and see the goodness as he explains that this bread, and this wine are his body and blood.  He teaches us to give thanks to God, ask for His blessing, share the bread and remember; the foundation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…how can I be more reverent when preparing for mass in my heart and spirit? On a more regular basis, how can I imitate Christ in this beautiful pattern of thanksgiving, blessing and sharing with others what God has given to me in my life?

Feel the powerful weight of his words that one of us will betray him…how many times today have I betrayed you, Lord, by doing what I wanted to do without asking you, or turning away from my own selfishness to joyfully serve another?

Garden of Gesthemane 

Watch and pray with the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane.  See Jesus sweating blood at the weight of our sins…where I have helped make reparation in the world for the pain and suffering I have caused another? Have I shown mercy and forgiveness to an offense committed against me? 

Imagine the helplessness of watching Jesus go peacefully with the guards…how often I fight against God’s will.  How can I let go and trust in God more with a problem in my life? How often do I pray “Jesus, I trust in you” during my day? How often can I ask for help by praying an act of faith, “Lord, increase my faith”.  

Before Pilate

Imagine standing in the crowds as they demand his crucifixion.  How many times have I stood by and said nothing while others judged and punished another? How often have I judged another in my heart? What do I do when I hear someone make an unfair comment about someone who isn’t in the room at the time? How can I practice acts of love more often to weed out the seeds of a judgmental heart? 

To Golgotha

Watch and see him stumble underneath the weight of the wooden cross. His mother stands nearby weeping. When was the last time I helped another carry a burden? 

On The Cross

As he says “I thirst” and they reach the branch of hyssop to his lips, do I sense what he is thirsting for? Is it just water or is it souls? Is it justice? Is it mercy? Can I imagine that kind of unquenchable desire for love and mercy in the world? Lord, when was the last time I helped a sick person feel comforted?  When have I turned away from someone who was in need? How can I quench your thirst with my actions? 

In The Arms of His Blessed Mother 

As they take him down from the cross and place him in the arms of his mother, place your hand on her shoulder and feel the shaking of her grief as she sobs, but no sound comes out. She cannot muster enough breath to make a cry.  You comfort her as best you can, knowing that no one has known sorrow like her sorrow; to watch your son and your God suffer and die for the sins of the world.  Mother, how can I comfort someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one? Pray for me to be of service to those who mourn or weep.

Waiting with Mary 

Sit on a warm stone next to Mary of Magdala as she watches over Jesus’ tomb. The sun is bright and shines on your face, but she is silent and does not move her eyes from the rock that stands before the tomb of her Lord.  She watches that rock, expectantly, knowing that something amazing could happen at any moment. She is sorrowful, but cannot extinguish her hope because she has received the graces cultivating the virtue of hope while being in the Lord’s presence for so long.  We sit…watch…praising God in His greatness while we wait, even though we may not understand this suffering. We honor Him with our trust, knowing that He is on the throne and our lives are in His hands.

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How often do I show my faith by praising God when something painful is happening to me? How can I surrender to His will and let go of my own plan in order for Him to do work in me?

How can I spend more time in your presence Lord? I want to cultivate the virtues that draw me closer to you, and serve you better in this world.  This is the way to bring souls to you…by being who you made me to be.  I cannot be that apart from you. I am not made to convert anyone but myself, but by doing so I can be a conduit of your grace to others.  Help me to spend time before you in prayer and in the sacraments so I can be like the opened tomb…filled with hope and light.  

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