“Anyone who wishes to follow me must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
V. We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you:
R. Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
Meditation: Accepting suffering
The second station pictures Christ accepting the weight of the cross onto his wounded shoulders. This marked the start of his journey to Golgotha, the hill on which he was to be crucified. Two criminals, who had been condemned to die with him, were also forced to carry their crosses out of the city.
In the Garden of Gethsemane the night before, Christ had accepted the cross in spirit. He had prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Now he accepted it in reality, taking up the cross with resignation, “like a lamb led to the slaughter” (Isaiah 53:7).
By doing so, he taught us two powerful lessons. Firstly, to completely renounce our own will and secondly, to accept suffering in our own lives. Neither of these things are easy. However, Christ said he would teach us how, saying: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
O my Jesus, by the cross which you accepted for the love of me, help me to accept the sufferings of this life for the love of you. Teach me to deny myself, to take up my cross daily and to follow you. (Luke 9:23)
Sign from the Old Testament
Isaac carried the wood to Mount Moriah, which Abraham then used to build an altar on which to sacrifice him. (Genesis 22:6-9)
See the full image:
Ferdinand Stuflesser (stylistic attribution) / Second Station of the Cross / Relief carving / St Mary Magdalene’s, Bexhill / Date unknown