Even with help, Jesus stumbles and falls to the ground.  In deep exhaustion he stares at the earth beneath him.  "Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return."  He has seen death before.  Now he can feel the profound weakness of disability and disease and aging itself, there on his knees, under the weight of his cross.
I contemplate Jesus brought very low.  As I behold him there on the ground, with all the agony taking its toll on him, I let my heart go out to him.

I store up this image in my heart, knowing that I will never feel alone in my suffering or in any diminishment, with this image of Jesus on the ground before me.

This is for me, so I express the feelings in my heart.

V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you;

R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

From Isaiah chapter 35 vs 3

Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak.

Our Lord fell again under the weight of His cross. When we weaken, falter and fall, Our Saviour knows how hard our way is. He will strengthen us in sorrow, and come to help us. He will be our strength.

Dear Lord we pray for families who suffer the consequences of addictions. Alcohol, gambling, drugs, pornography, social websites and addiction for vanity have separated family members from each other. Lord, these families act like strangers at home and find it hard to get up again from their addiction. We hold them up to you Lord, and we know that with your blessings they can build their family relationships again. We love you Jesus.

 

"Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."   (Matthew 11.28-30)

O, my Jesus, you have fallen yet again — under the power of so much hate and rejection. The hate of men, the implacable hatred of darkness in deep places ... beneath the unrelenting weight of our sins ... and still we heap them on You ...

As Son of God and Son of Mary, you were possessed of the most perfect human body!

Tattered, torn, bruised and brutalized, it now lies under the Cross, and scarce would I recognize you beneath the rancor that violates the most sacred of flesh, the foul breath of all evil obscuring, subduing, all beauty and grace in a litany of sin ...

You did not succumb to the weight or the blows that bore you down, the withering malice that would not leave you unscathed, untrammeled — it was not physical weakness that made you fall twice — but the burden of lovelessness, that weight beyond measure.

Here you fall under the sins of omission ... of love that should have loved, but was twisted to hate.

Have mercy on me ... in my failure to love. Thee, O Christ! ... and the least of these in whom we crucify you twice!

 

Meditation: 

This is the second time you have fallen on the road. As the cross grows heavier and heavier it becomes more difficult to get up. But you continue to struggle and try until you're up and walking again. You don't give up.

As a child, sometimes things get me down. Others seem to find things easier to do or to learn. Each time I fail, I find it harder to keep trying.

As an adult, sometimes I think I should know more than I do. I become impatient with myself and find it hard to believe in myself when I fail. It is easy to despair over small things, and sometimes I do.

Help me when things seem difficult for me. Even when it's hard, help me get up and keep trying as you did. Help me do my best without comparing myself with others.

My Jesus, often have I sinned and often, by sin, beaten Thee to the ground beneath the cross. Help me to use the efficacious means of grace that I may never fall again.

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities the people admired in You was Your strength in time of ridicule - Your ability to rise above the occasion. But now, You fall a second time - apparently conquered by the pain of the Cross. People who judged You by appearances made a terrible mistake. What looked like weakness was unparalleled strength!

I often judge by appearances and how wrong I am most of the time. The world judges entirely by this fraudulent method of discerning. It looks down upon those who apparently have given their best and are now in need. It judges the poor as failures, the sick as useless and the aged as a burden. How wrong that kind of judgment is in the light of your second fall! Your greatest moment wasYour weakest one. Your greatest triumph was in failure. Your greatest act of love was in desolation. Your greatest show of power was in that utter lack of strength that threw You to the ground.

Weak and powerful Jesus, give me the grace to see beyond what is visible and be more aware of Your Wisdom in the midst of weakness. Give the aged, sick, handicapped, retarded, deaf and blind the fruit of joy so they may ever be aware of the Father's gift and the vast difference between what the world sees and what the Father sees that they may glory in their weakness so the power of God may be manifest.

Prayer

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities the people admired in You was Your strength in time of ridicule - Your ability to rise above the occasion. But now, You fall a second time - apparently conquered by the pain of the Cross. People who judged You by appearances made a terrible mistake. What looked like weakness was unparalleled strength!

I often judge by appearances and how wrong I am most of the time. The world judges entirely by this fraudulent method of discerning. It looks down upon those who apparently have given their best and are now in need. It judges the poor as failures, the sick as useless and the aged as a burden. How wrong that kind of judgment is in the light of your second fall! Your greatest moment wasYour weakest one. Your greatest triumph was in failure. Your greatest act of love was in desolation. Your greatest show of power was in that utter lack of strength that threw You to the ground.

Weak and powerful Jesus, give me the grace to see beyond what is visible and be more aware of Your Wisdom in the midst of weakness. Give the aged, sick, handicapped, retarded, deaf and blind the fruit of joy so they may ever be aware of the Father's gift and the vast difference between what the world sees and what the Father sees that they may glory in their weakness so the power of God may be manifest.
 

Lord Jesus, in your second fall, 
we recognize so many of our situations 
from which there seems to be no way of escape. 
Among them are those that derive from prejudice and hatred, 
which harden our hearts 
and lead to religious conflicts. 
Enlighten our minds 
so that they recognize, 
despite "human and religious differences," 
that "a ray of truth 
shines on all men and women", 
called to walk together 
– with respect for religious freedom – 
towards the truth that is in God alone. 
Thus, the different religions can 
"join one another in service to the common good 
and contribute to the development of each person 
and the building of society" (Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 27-28).

Come, Holy Spirit, 
to console and strengthen Christians, 
especially those from the Middle East, 
so that, united in Christ, 
they may be witnesses of your universal love 
in an area torn apart by injustice and conflicts. 
Amen.

1 Our Father 

1 Hail Mary 

1 Glory Be ...

O Jesus Crucified - for us you suffered - for us you died - On the Cross

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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