Jesus falls beneath the cross
“Behold the Lamb of God”
From the Book of the prophet Isaiah
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his wounds we are healed”.
JESUS’ THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS
I stagger as I take my first steps towards Calvary. I have already lost a lot of blood. It is hard for me to bear the weight of the wood I have to carry. And so I fall to the ground.
Someone helps me up. I see people all around me. Surely there are some who love me. Others are just curious bystanders. I think of John the Baptist, who at the beginning of my public life, said: “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”. Now the truth of those words is revealed.
O Jesus, on this day we must not be like the Pharisee who sings his own praises, but like the tax collector who does not even dare to look up. So in trust we ask you, Lamb of God, to forgive our sins, in thought and word, in what we have done and what we have failed to do.
As we ponder the weight of your cross, we will not be ashamed to make the sign of the cross on our bodies: “It is an effective aid: free for the poor and effortless for the weak. For it is a grace from God”.
LET US PRAY
Your Son shared our human life
We give you praise, Father most holy, because time and time again through the prophets you taught us to look forward to salvation. We praise you because you so loved the world as to send us your only-begotten Son. To accomplish your plan of redemption, he shared our human nature in all things but sin. To the poor he proclaimed the good news of salvation, to prisoners freedom, and to the sorrowful of heart joy.
Thank you, Father!
All: Pater noster… Stabat Mater
 Is 53:5.
 Jn 1:29.
 Cf. Lk 18:10-13.
 CYRIL OF JERUSALEM, Baptismal Catechesis, 13, 35-36.