Eleventh Station – Jesus Nailed to the Cross for us


Jesus Nailed to the Cross for us

We adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Luke 23:33

Jesus is not alone in being nailed to the cross; there are two others, criminals on either side. As the nails are driven in there is no going back. All three will meet the same fate; the fate of a criminal condemned to an excruciating death. Yet it is not only these two criminals who were nailed to the cross besides Jesus; we too are condemned to death in this world, our bodily death, daily deaths by sin, and our striving for death to our own wills that we may be joined to Christ in his death. If we share in Christ’s death we also come to share in his glorious resurrection; as he promised to the Penitent Thief, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

“You are to become this body, you are to be nailed: nailed to Christ’s sacrificial will. The nails that hold you are God’s commandments, your rules of life, prayers, confessions, communions regularly observed. Let us honour the nails for Christ’s sake, and pray that by the virtue of his passion they may hold fast.” (Austin Farrer)
What nails hold you fast to the crucified Christ?

May the crucified Christ help us to hold fast to him in his suffering.
May we die to sin and turn like the Penitent Thief, that He may remember us in his kingdom and receive us into the Father’s paradise.
Amen.

Revd Penny King, former Parish Assistant at St Chrysostom’s, Assistant Curate at St Elisabeth’s Reddish.

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Tenth Station – Jesus Stripped of His Garments

Jesus Stripped of His GarmentsWe adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

The huntsmen are all about me; a band of ruffians rings me round, and they have hacked off, my hands and feet. I tell my tale of misery, while they look on and gloat. They share out my garments among them and cast lots for my cloths. Psalm 22:16-18

It seems that every step to Calvary brought fresh humiliation to our Lord. No doubt Jesus’ sensitive nature recoiled at being stripped before a crowd of people. Christ leaves this life as he entered into it – completely detached from all the comforts of this world.

Christ wishes us to know that without a doubt he loved us with an unselfish love. His love for us caused him nothing but pain and sorrow. He gave everything and received nothing in return. Why do we find it so hard to be detached? In his loving mind, did our Lord look up to the Father as he stood there on that hill, shivering from cold and shame and trembling from fear, and ask Him to have mercy on those who would make love a mockery? Did He ask forgiveness for those whose greed would make them lie, cheat and steal for a few pieces of gold or silver?

Ask yourself: Do I love unselfishly or give my love freely as Jesus has done for me?

Revd Ray Clifford, retired priest living in London who worships at St Chrysostom’s when in Manchester.

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Ninth Station – Jesus Falls for the Third Time

Jesus Falls for the Third TimeWe adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3

We have struggled in our lives, or our Christian journey. We have know times when we have promised ourselves, God, and others that we would do better and then have failed yet again despite our best attempts. Jesus falls and stumbles, and as he does so we know that he is with us when we fail to live up to our and other’s expectations. Jesus shares our feeling of worthlessness.

Despite the weight of the cross, despite the hatred of the crowd, Jesus perseveres on his dreadful journey. Each of us have our burdens to carry, our own cross to bear. It is all too easy to put it down, to escape from it, to walk away. Our feelings of worthlessness are our acceptance of our vulnerability, and our need for God. Though we fall and fall, though we fail and fail, we get up and carry on through the strength that comes from God.

Dear Lord Jesus,
May we stand before you in our brokenness,
our weakness and our fragile humanity.
May we make Love the motive for every decision we choose in our lives.
Amen.

Revd Christopher Hartley, Assistant Curate, St Chrysostom’s.

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Eighth Station – Jesus Speaks to the Weeping Women

Jesus Speaks to the Weeping WomenWe adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me but weep for your selves and for your children. Because days are coming when they will say “Happy are those who are barren, and whose wombs never bore a child………Then they will say to the mountains “Fall upon us” and to the hills “cover us “ For if they do these things when the sap is in the wood, what will they do when the wood is dry ?” Luke 23:28-31

“Daughters of Jerusalem” – what courtesy from a man in extreme pain, walking or more likely stumbling to the place of execution. Still Jesus could address them with respect-and with compassion as he spelt out that grim and dark prophecy. Jesus goes to the cross as the victim of Pilate’s fear of losing power and the Jewish authorities’ fear that they would lose their small area of independence. His ministry and his way of life had been a powerful proclamation of the Kingdom of God, an example of another way to live, in peace, in mutual caring and with love not violence. The authorities would not or could not hear.

Jesus, give me your gift of compassion, and enable me to show in my life the real power of your gospel of peace, and of the Kingdom of God. Amen.

Sister Jean Mary, of the Community of the Holy Name.

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Seventh Station – Jesus Falls Again under the Cross

Jesus Falls Again under the CrossWe adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me. I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin. Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully. Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good. Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me; make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Psalm 38:17-22

Some representations of Jesus falling show a Roman soldier hitting Jesus, forcing him to pick up his cross and continue his slow, painful walk. Here, though, the Centurion seems to be showing a moment of compassion; he holds up one hand towards the man who has picked up the dropped cross, as if saying, “hold on, give him a moment to get his breath back, wait a bit, give him a chance”… and isn’t that what we all need? When we “fall”, when things go wrong for us, when we make mistakes, don’t we want a moment, a “breather”, the chance to recover, before starting again?

In 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States, he quoted from a song written in 1936, saying “Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America”. We may not have such a responsibility, but we all need, at times, to remake our lives, and with the help of Christ, we will.

Compassionate God – when I fall, give me the courage, grant me the strength, to take time to pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again, walking my own way of the cross, following your directions for my life, in the footsteps and in the name of Jesus. Amen

Ms Trish Lindsay, Parish Reader at St Chrysostom’s.

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Sixth Station – Jesus Rewards Veronica’s Charity

Jesus Rewards Veronica’s CharityWe adore you O Christ and we bless you
Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world

Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. Psalm 22:9-11

At times of pain, loneliness, distress, we often remember experiences of comfort, safety, peace – and yearn to feel that again. We long for someone to gently sooth away the pain, care for us, make it better. Perhaps this was how Jesus felt on his long walk carrying the cross, remembering comfort and security as a small child at Mary breast, and the love and care of God made manifest to him in the love and nurture of his mother. But now Jesus is alone, surrounded by a vicious and cruel crowd, “and there is no one to help”.

The depth of Veronica’s compassion emboldened her to step out from that crowd. The image of Veronica recalls for me the image of the women who tended and guarded Soldier Lee Rigby’s body when he was murdered. In the face of great violence, they showed extraordinary compassion and bravery, wanting him and his family to know he was not alone.

Compassion made Veronica strong, and compassion makes women and men the world over, bold enough to step out from the crowd and risk themselves to make things a little better. It is not a weakness to feel deeply, to care deeply, it is a strength and a gift, given by Veronica to our Lord at his time of greatest need.

May we, like Veronica, be made bold by our compassion, to sooth, to care, to offer even the smallest act which can help make things a little better for those who suffer.

Revd Dr Kim Wasey, Chaplain of Salford University, and Assistant Priest at St Chrysostom’s.

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Angelus Domini

Mary 1Singing the Angelus after 11am Mass on a Sunday is a very popular devotion at St Chrysostom’s. Children, parents and carers come forward to Mary’s statue and are joined by clergy and servers. The Angelus is introduced, often with a theme for prayer, and then together the Angelus is sung. Often a lay person leads the singing.

In the Angelus we remember that God became human in the womb of Mary. Through Mary’s YES to God, Jesus came to the world.

Many of our worshipers comment on this special moment of a Sunday and here are some of those comments:

It is like a great Amen at the end of worship.

The Angelus is a special gathering moment and its great the children have a place of honour.

It finishes off Mass with a special moment, as we unite our worship and prayers with those of Our Lady and other Christians around the world

Parish Assistants are invited to have a try of singing the Angelus – here is a You Tube clip of Laura leading us in Lent, (and very well) for the first time.

Why not have a go yourself? Click here: (angelus pdf) for the music we use.

And for more about the Angelus as a devotion click here.

PS Who is that man in the pink (or amaranth) zucchetto in the clip! – and what for the matter is a zucchetto and what is amaranth?
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