Mar 31 to Apr 6: Jesus . . . IX. Falls Third Time; X. Stripped; XI. Nailed to Cross

 Reading: Walk With Jesus, Chapter IX, X, XI (pages 55-72)

It has been another week of deep and meaningful sharing with rich and supportive comments being exchanged among the members of our Lenten community. It’s a blessing for all of us–those actively posting and those present in silence–to walk with Jesus among the vulnerable this Lent.

This week we are brought closer and closer to the suffering Jesus. First we see him from a distance as he falls. Then our focus narrows and we observe him being stripped and personally exposed.  Finally, we zoom in on his hands and feet and can almost feel the pain and anguish as he is nailed to the cross.  All this really happened in Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago and it is right that we recall it today. As Henri and Sr. Helen David continue to make clear,  Jesus’ suffering has not ended and it continues in the lives of God’s people in our world.

In the ninth station we come upon a man who has stumbled and fallen in the city, and it could be your city. He has extended his hand in loneliness seeking assistance. It is a most human gesture; it can be life-giving if  met by an outstretched hand in response or it can lead to despair if people ignore the plea for help. In the background, a man walks by. Will he help?  Next we meet a woman who, although covered by a blanket, suffers the true nakedness of having lost her dignity. Jesus willingly accepted the loss of his dignity on Calvary to show us the immense compassion of God’s love. Where can we bring compassion to others? Finally, we encounter a suffering man dying alone, his difficult and painful life coming to an end. Yet, this man is at peace. He has given everything and has done the best that he could in his trying circumstances. Jesus gave everything on the cross so that this man, and all of us, can have hope in living and in dying. How can we live our lives so that our dying brings hope to others?

We have three beautiful paintings and meditations to ponder. Perhaps the comments and questions above may get you started.  Or you might want to refer to the reflection guide below.  And, as always, it is most important that you follow the prompting of the Spirit, wherever it may lead.  Please share with the group whatever is on your heart to the extent you are comfortable.  We look forward to hearing from many of you as we continue our Lenten journey this week.

Here in Maryland the daffodils and forsythia are in full bloom; in Washington the cherry blossoms are reaching their peak. Although it is still Lent, the changes in nature remind us we are we are heading toward Easter, a time of resurrection and joy.  May you be blessed this week.

Peace and all good.

Reflection Guide:
Henri follows a threefold approach at each Station. First, he places us in Sister Helen David’s picture. He then transports us to Jerusalem to join Jesus on his way to Calvary. Finally, Henri challenges us walk with Jesus and to build God’s Kingdom here and now.

At each Station (or in each chapter) you might:

  1. Ponder on Sister Helen David’s drawing.  Take note of your observations, impressions, reactions, and any questions that my arise.
  2. Read Henri’s reflection.  How does Henri’s reaction to the drawing compare to yours?  Does Henri’s description of Jesus’ suffering at this Station give you new insight into your life and faith journey? How do you respond to Henri’s challenge to walk with Jesus? What concrete steps will you take and when?
  3. How you will respond? Carefully (prayerfully) consider how your heart responds to the insights gained during your reflection. Are there small steps you can take to incorporate these insights to strengthen your spiritual life