Sunday, March 17, 2013

They Crucified Him: Station II

This series is not my own work, but all taken from Rev Robert Nash, S.J.'s reflections on the Stations of the Cross: They Crucified Him. I will post one Station a day in these final days before (and concluding on) Good Friday. Here is the Second Station.
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So, He is accounted guilty of death, and accordingly Jesus, in the second station, proceeds to carry His cross.

This time we draw very close to Him and, as the excited crowds continue to yell that He is guilty of death, we may well ask to which of the two of us do those accusing fingers point. They cannot justly indicate our Saviour, for even the corrupt Pilate has pronounced Him innocent. But it is indeed true that every man who commits mortal sin is guilty of death. Before that fatal day and hour, his soul was pulsating with the very life of God Himself, for to be in the state of grace is to participate in the divine nature. But as the sinner consummates his foul deed, his hands are red with the blood of murder. He has stifled and strangled and slain the life of his own soul. He is branded in God’s sight as a murderer, like another Cain. And like Cain too, often he is not satisfied with destroying the life of his own soul but must needs inject the virus into the souls of others. “Woe to the scandal-giver,” says Our Lord. Woe to him or to her who teaches others how to sin, who tempts them to wickedness, who laughs airily at their just scruples. Such a one is indeed guilty of death. The lying mob surrounding Our Lord gives place to the souls ruined and slain by such a scandal-giver and these proclaim in all truth, as they look upon him and point him out: “He has incurred sentence of death, for he is a murderer. He has murdered our souls!”

Fearful responsibility! Perhaps to set a young man on the road to moral collapse! To blight a fair young life by evil example; to stir up in another the flames of passion which may take years to extinguish and control again, if indeed the task ever be accomplished at all! “Father,” said an old woman, “I’m eighty-two and will you tell everyone you can what I’m going to say to you? I was a sinner, and the memory of my sins haunts me night and day. I sit in this bed at two and three in the morning and ask myself how am I going to answer to God for the souls I have led into the ways of sin. If only young people would learn from me what misery there is in sin!”

We are still standing side by side, Jesus and I. He willingly takes the cross though He is innocence itself. Must I not corroborate the accusation hurled against me, that it is I who am guilty of death? And if so, what could be more just or fitting than that I relieve the innocent Man of His load, and accept the cross willingly for my own portion?


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