Did Jesus Christ Suffer?
A pilgrim was
accompanying two new converts to the Faith, and she said
they asked, "Why did Jesus have to suffer so
- "For God so
loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son
that whoever believed in Him may not perish but have
eternal life." (+Jn 3:16)…Comment: "God
SO loved the world"-Yes!-even though we sin,
and sin again, and hurt Him-He still loves us,
tracks us down and gives us time and grace to
change, and change again: "He SO loved the
world"-you and I: He wants everyone to be saved
(1Tim 2:4) and from the slavery to sin (1 Tim.
1:15--anything that hurts God and blocks our own
holiness), and come to His Trinitarian Life (Jn
- "In this we
have known the love of God, because He laid down His
life for us." +I Jn3:16…See commentary below…
- St. Alphonsus
Liguori, in his holy book, "The Passion and
Death of Jesus Christ" (a classic-get it,
consume it!), relates the following (as well as the
"Stations of the Cross" which follow for
your Holy Week devotions)
- "St. John
Chrysostom says: 'This was the principal cause of
the Passion of our Lord; he wished it to be known
how great was the love of God for man-of God, who
would rather be loved than feared.' …St Thomas
(Aquinas) adds, 'By this (the Passion) man
understands the greatness of the love of God to man'…St.
Bernard says, "He endured much weariness that
he might bind man to love Him much,' and 'The
secrets of his heart are revealed through the wounds
of His body."
We need to meditate
(i.e., in prayer: thinking deeply, lovingly) upon the
Passion of Jesus this week: stop and reflect on how He
actually "laid down His life"; let the images
imprint themselves in you, then form affections of love
from these; and resolve to refrain from sin and love
God-and neighbor-more: heroically, as did Jesus Christ
and the Saints.
Stations of the Cross…
FIRST STATION: Jesus is
condemned to Death.
Consider that Jesus,
after having been scourged and crowned with thorns, was
unjustly condemned by Pilate to die on the cross.
Jesus is made to bear His Cross.
Consider that Jesus, in
making this journey with the cross on his shoulders,
thought of us, and offered for us to His Father the
death that He was about to undergo.
Jesus falls the First Time under His Cross.
Consider this first
fall of Jesus under His Cross. His flesh was torn by the
scourges, his head crowned with thorns, and He has lost
a great quantity of blood. He was so weakened that He
could scarcely walk, and yet He had to carry this great
load upon His shoulders. The soldiers struck him rudely,
and thus He fell several times in His journey.
Jesus meets His afflicted Mother.
Consider the meeting of
the son and the Mother, which took place on this
journey. Jesus and Mary looked at each other, and their
looks became as so many arrows to wound those hearts
which loved each other so tenderly.
The Cyrenian helps Jesus to carry His Cross.
Consider that the Jews
seeing that at each step Jesus, from weakness, was on
the point of expiring, and fearing that He would die on
the way, when they wished Him to die the ignominious
death of the cross, constrained Simon the Cyrenian to
carry the cross behind our Lord.
Veronica wipes the Face of
Consider that the holy
woman named Veronica, seeing Jesus so afflicted, and His
face bathed in sweat and blood, presented Him with a
towel, with which He wiped His adorable face, leaving on
it the impression of His holy countenance.
Jesus falls the Second Time.
Consider the second
fall of Jesus under the cross,--a fall which renews the
pain of all the wounds of the head and members of our
Jesus speaks to the Daughters of Jerusalem.
Consider that those
women wept with compassion at seeing Jesus in so
pitiable a state, streaming with blood, as He walked
along. But Jesus said to them, "Weep not for Me,
but for your children."
Jesus falls the Third Time.
Consider the third fall
of Jesus Christ. His weakness was extreme, and the
cruelty of His executioners excessive, who tried to
hasten His steps when He had scarcely strength to move.
Jesus is stripped of His Garments.
Consider the violence
with which the executioners stripped Jesus. His inner
garments adhered to His torn flesh, and they dragged
them off so roughly that the skin came with them.
Compassionate, your Savior thus cruelly treated, and say
to Him: My innocent Jesus, by the merits of the torment
that Thou hast felt, help me to strip myself o all
affection to things of earth.
Jesus is nailed to the Cross.
Consider that Jesus,
after being thrown on the cross, extended His hands, and
offered to His Eternal Father the sacrifice of His life
for our salvation. These barbarians fastened Him with
nails; and then, raising the cross, leave Him to die
with anguish on this infamous gibbet.
Jesus dies on the Cross.
Consider that thy
Jesus, after three hours' agony on the cross, consumed
at length with anguish, abandons Himself to the weight
of His body, bows His head and dies.
Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
Consider that, our Lord
having expired, two of His disciples, Joseph and
Nicodemus, took Him down from the cross, and placed Him
in the arms of His afflicted mother, who received Him
with unutterable tenderness, and pressed Him to her
STATION: Jesus is placed in the Sepulchre.
Consider that the
disciples carried the body of Jesus to bury it,
accompanied by His holy Mother, who arranged it in the
sepulcher with her own hands. They then closed the tomb
and all withdrew.
CALENDAR for HOLY WEEK:
Christ enters into
Jerusalem to accomplish His Paschal Mystery. The Passion
of the Lord dominates these days. The Paschal fast
should be observed everywhere on Good Friday and
continued, where possible, on Holy Saturday. In this way
the people of God will receive the joys of the Lord's
resurrection with uplifted and responsive hearts"
(Vatican II/Order of Christian Worship)… Commemorate
these days by PRAYER, SACRIFICES and SERVICE-walk
heroically this Week with Jesus Christ.
other Sermons by Father John J. Lombardi