The Stations of the Cross are a series of fourteen images or statues (along with accompanying prayers) that recreates the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. The Via Dolorosa is believed to be Jesus' processional route from his trial to his crucifixion.
For centuries, the Stations—which have been around in some form since at least the 400s—have provided faithful, home-bound pilgrims with an opportunity to visit Jerusalem and Jesus' Passion in their imaginations. The Stations can be visited anytime, but Holy Week provides us with a special opportunity to be with Jesus (and to not look away).
Good Friday, crucifixion, and death are not unique to Jesus. They are universal and can be found in many times and places. So, in the Stations as we’re presenting them, instead of reflecting on traditional images of Jesus, we'll be reflecting on "Good Friday" images from the news over the last year—images that relate to some crisis, some tragedy, some death that has been with us and on our hearts in this past year.
Holy Week is Christianity’s most sacred time. Sacred doesn’t mean easy, sacred doesn’t mean pretty. Good Friday, especially, is the most difficult Christian Holy Day. Good Friday is God’s confrontation (and our confrontation) with the brutality and suffering in our world and in ourselves. But observing it, being with Jesus, and feeling the pain of the world is important spiritual work.
Let us pray:
God, may the images, reflections, and prayers of these Stations of the Cross draw us closer to the world's aching places, and may they embolden us to find the voice that will declare Good News to the world. Amen.
Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations