The Good Friday Saskatoon Way of the Cross Prayer Walk is coordinated by the Office for Justice and Peace, Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon. For additional details, contact Myron Rogal at 306-242-1500 or justpeace [at] saskatoonrcdiocese [dot] com.
Between each station, as we follow the cross we sing and pray. Please give prayerful thought to the reflections offered by each group, and offer your own prayers for the needs of the world, that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done on earth as in heaven.
Station 1: Jesus on the Mount of Olives (in front of Federal Courthouse on Spadina Crescent)
He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ (Luke 22:39-46)
Reflection by the EcoJustice students from Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
Having spent years with Jesus and witnessed many miracles, had the disciples become too comfortable? Had they fallen into the trap of thinking Jesus would always be with them, despite his warnings about his coming suffering, and despite his prompting in the garden to be attentive and pray?
Have we too become complacent in taking our access to Catholic education for granted? Recent attacks on Catholic education in Saskatchewan—in the courts and in public opinion—should serve as signs that we need to “get up and pray”. We must be willing to stand up to modern secularism that wants to relegate religious practice into a private practice.
How will you respond to Jesus’ call to be vigilant and pray? Will you stand up for the ability for parents to choose a Catholic education for their children, no matter the reason?
Let us pray:
Lord, thank you for the gift of Catholic education, for the ability of educators to nourish spiritual maturity in addition to intellectual, physical and emotional growth. You call us to act, to stay awake and pray. May we always be faithful to your call to be true disciples—to stay with you through trials, to follow you along the Way of the Cross, and to know that your providential love overcomes all trials and hardships, Amen.
Station 2: Jesus, betrayed by Judas, is arrested (corner of Spadina and 20th in front of Collins Barrow)
While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?’ (Luke 22:47-48)
Reflection by Hope Restored Canada. Organized by Jodi Kozan, Executive Director
How often do we, like Judas, commodify human beings? Human trafficking is modern day slavery. The UN defines “Trafficking in Persons” as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”
“Sex trafficking is a global epidemic with an estimated 27 million trafficked individuals globally making up over $150 Billion industry annually.- not only internationally but right here in our city. Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking, and a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor. This is against our Canadian values, rights and freedoms. Women and girls from indigenous communities, migrants, at-risk youth, runaway youth, and girls in the child welfare system are especially vulnerable. Foreign women are also subjected to sex trafficking in Canada, although 93% of sex trafficked victims in Canada are Canadian. Canada is also a source country for tourists who travel abroad to engage in sex acts with children.
Sexual exploitation in Canada is a crime, and it is often hidden. Those who are being exploited may not see themselves as victims, and may not come forward to law enforcement because of fear of retaliation from their exploiters/traffickers by way of threats to themselves and/or to their families, because of mistrust of; lack of awareness of legal rights and law enforcement systems, feelings of embarrassment and humiliation; drug addiction; and financial debt to traffickers.
What can you do? We can all affect human trafficking through our personal choices, recognizing the signs of trafficking and sexual exploitation and choosing not to participate in this to stop the demand. We all have a responsibility to protect our women, girls and youth and to support actions to eradicate sexual exploitation which includes preventative measures and addressing demand. This includes getting to the root of the problem of degradation of the human life and the commodification of one’s sexuality. The multi-billion dollar pornography industry must be held accountable for contributing to addictions, creating demand for prostitution, escort agencies, stripping, and all forms of sexually exploitive services and destroying lives.
Let us pray that we end our betrayal of the millions of people sold in the world every day for selfish desires. We pray that with God’s empowerment, compassion, discernment and wisdom we might come to know these people who have been objectified and take action to secure their dignity. We pray for all victims and survivors who experienced the life by choice, coercion or circumstance as we pray and contend for the freedom, dignity, hope and restoration of all. We pray for a day when sexual exploitation will be eradicated and that we might acknowledge the intrinsic worth of each person with honour without normalizing control and manipulation. May this begin in our hearts, extend to our families and seek to engage the world. Amen.
Station 3: Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin (on 20th facing the centre of the parking lot of First Nations Bank)
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered together, and they brought him to their council. They said, ‘If you are the Messiah, tell us.’ He replied, ‘If I tell you, you will not believe; and if I question you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.’ All of them asked, ‘Are you, then, the Son of God?’ He said to them, ‘You say that I am.’ Then they said, ‘What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips!’ (Luke 22:66-71)
Reflection by Chris Randall, Director of Saskatoon’s Homelessness Action Plan, Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership
Jesus was judged and condemned by the court. Had he committed a crime? No. Those who experience homelessness in our community are often judged and condemned by society. They are seen as a problem to be “solved.” Individuals and families who struggle with homelessness are often viewed as responsible for creating their own situation. Poverty and homelessness are too often criminalized by our legal system and condemned by the opinions of passersby.
Jesus knew what it was like to be condemned. He knew what it was like to suffer and be an outcast. During his ministry, he was at times homeless.
Those who are homeless in our community do not choose to be so. Individuals and families facing homelessness struggle to find shelter and affordable housing. Youth often find themselves in potentially abusive situations due to having no options but couch-surfing. We live in a country with enough wealth for there to be housing for all. The crime of homelessness is that people still find they have nowhere to sleep on a night like tonight. Jesus said that likewise, the Son of Man had nowhere to lay His head.
The church needs to welcome those who are homeless into our hearts, our homes, and our churches. We need to welcome them as we would welcome Christ. We need to add our voice to make sure there are more than enough resources in our community to house and feed them.
Jesus calls us to see the suffering of the victims of this crime. Homelessness is a crime no one should have to face. At SHIP we use a Housing First model to house and stabilize homeless individuals and families. We work to make sure homelessness is rare, brief and non-reoccurring. We fund case-managers at shelters and housing programs to house and support the homeless. As they are housed these individuals need support, understanding and care. As a community, the church can offer this support to both individuals and families. They don’t have to continue to experience re-occurring experiences of homelessness.
We pray: Lord help us see those who face homelessness through your eyes. Help us see them with dignity and compassion. Those who are homeless are victims of a crime they did not create. Allow us to love, support and care for them as you would have us do. Open our hearts to provide love and support to individuals and families facing homelessness. Remind us that you were at times homeless during your life on this earth. Let us pray for those who face homelessness even tonight. We pray they would receive shelter and housing as they look for it. Amen.
Station 4: Peter denies Jesus (in front of Edwards School of Business, corner of 3th Avenue & 20th Street)
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, ‘This man also was with him.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting, ‘Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about!’ At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly. (Luke 22:54-62)
Reflection by Amanda Dodge, Program Director, Mennonite Central Committee Saskatchewan
Do we admit Christ’s presence in the marginalized?
Palestine is under a decades-old military occupation that is in violation of international law. The grip of oppression has tightened in recent years. Walls, as high as 9 meters, have been built around and within the occupied Palestinian territories. The walls separate Palestinians from their own farm land, their workplaces, schools, hospitals and more. I met a Palestinian family who could not tend their own olive and fruit trees because the wall was built between their home and their farm land.
With special permits, some Palestinians can cross the wall at checkpoints. A commute that should take mere minutes turns into hours of waiting in heat, rain or cold. I met a Palestinian man who wakes up at 4:30am to allow enough time to pass through the checkpoint and make it to his job by 8:00am.
Some Palestinians can never cross the wall. I met a man in Bethlehem who said he loved his home but it felt like a jail to him; every day he sees the world coming to visit Jesus’ birthplace and yet he cannot leave to go to the world.
Palestinians under occupation feel abandoned and forgotten by the international community.
Let us pray for the courage to admit Christ’s presence to the marginalized, to those suffering indignity, to those languishing in bleak and restricted places. We pray for strength to bring love, hope and peace into oppressive circumstances. We pray for Palestinians in their grief and despair, that they would be encouraged, that they would be liberated from occupation and experience peaceful co-existence in their land, Amen.
Station 5: Jesus is judged by Pilate (in front of Elwood Flynn, corner of 3rd Avenue and 21st streets)
Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’ Then they all shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’ (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished. (Luke 23:13-25)
Reflection by Marc Loiselle, farmer and member of the Diocese of Saskatoon Justice and Peace Commission
Jesus was judged by Pilate without cause and while knowing very little about him. As a Roman, Pilate was a foreigner tasked with managing the difficult people of Judea within the empire. He let misguided public opinion influence his decision because he wanted to placate the noisy crowd and in so doing prevent insurrection by the people. In fact, the crowd was purposely incited to hatred by authorities with a vested interest in eliminating the one claiming to be the Messiah.
How often are we tempted to judge our neighbours in rural Saskatchewan before knowing who they are, why they believe in or do certain things, before having created relationships with them? Do we hold on to prejudices, stereotypes, or racism because we choose to remain ignorant and are unwilling to task ourselves with discovering our neighbours? Are we afraid to be different and step forward boldly in search of truth, or content to remain ignorant and be led by misinformation and lies? Are we open to loving unconditionally? Incomprehension and hatred led Jesus to the tomb.
Let us pray, that we may be like good seed fallen into soil which yields empathy, understanding, compassion, forgiveness, friendship, mercy and love. Let us not fall into the temptation to judge, lest we be judged. Lord, help us to remove barriers that prevent us from being whole, that prevent us from accepting and loving our neighbours. Amen.
Station 6: Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns (on 3rd Avenue in front of parking lot north of BHP Billiton)
Now the men who were holding Jesus began to mock him and beat him; they also blindfolded him and kept asking him, ‘Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?’ They kept heaping many other insults on him. (Luke 22:63-65)
And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and striking him on the face. (John 19:2-3)
Reflection written by Yvonne Armstrong and read by Sean O’Connor, both of the Diocese of Saskatoon Justice and Peace Commission
Jesus endured this suffering out of love for all of humankind. Jesus Christ, true God and true man showed us prefect love when He became vulnerable, even to those who restrained Him.
Just as Jesus’ head was entangled in the crown of thorns, there are some elderly in our communities entangled in other ways through pain, sorrow, loneliness, anxiety and rejection. Some live in poverty unable to buy enough food. Many seniors today cannot afford the prescriptions needed to sustain them in a healthcare system that is supposed to be accessible to all.
As a society, have we forgotten our elderly? Have we forgotten their irreplaceable wisdom? These beautiful people came before us to clear the land and make way for a new generation to come. They worked hard with little in return sacrificing their lives for their families sustained by their strong faith in the unfailing love of Jesus.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus give us your example of unfailing love. Let us not forget our elderly. Let us rise to meet them in their times of need and show them the unconditional love of God our Father, Amen.
Station 7: Jesus takes up the cross (courtyard in front of Sturdy Stone Building, 3rd Avenue & 22nd Street)
After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. (Mark 15:20)
Reflection by Sr. Judy Schactel, Churches for Environmental Action
Sallie McFague, a theologian said “Earth is entering her agony in the garden and her disciples have fallen asleep”. Have we fallen asleep as to what is happening to our suffering earth? How are we treating our common home that Pope Francis speaks of in his letter Laudato Si that was addressed to the world as a means toward caring for the Earth?
Today in the 7th station we hear Jesus being stripped of the purple cloak and led out to be crucified. Earth too is being stripped and crucified of its goodness. Stripped of nutrients in top soil, clearing massive forests, degrading our water with toxic waste, cluttering our oceans with plastic debris. Creatures of earth are struggling and dying/ being crucified like frogs, bees, and butterflies, while other creatures are caged up in factory farms.
St. Augustine says we have two books that reveal God: Scripture and Nature. If Nature reveals God, how might I treat respectfully all of God’s creation? How am I respecting the dignity of all beings or are they just an object to be exploited? May we realize what we eat, drink, wear, use, and enjoy are all gifts to us and a sacrifice of Mother Earth. May this challenge our consumer habits.
We pray: Lord Jesus awaken and guide us in ways that respect and enhance ALL life on our suffering earth. May we sacrifice our attitudes and actions that damage and destroy life; and may we act to maintain a healthy earth for all beings and for all our sisters and brothers, Amen.
Station 8: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross (main entrance to City Hall, 3rd Avenue)
As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
Reflection by Dan and Mary Ann Posada, Couples for Christ Saskatoon
Carrying the crosses of one another’s families. Focusing on how married couples and families can support other married couples and their families.
Today we are reminded, the role of each members of the family – that we too are expected to carry each other’s crosses, not only within our family but also helping out and reaching out to other families.
Like Simon – who was just a passer-by during that day of the Passion of the Christ, he was forced to help Jesus and as a father who aspired to be good one – example to his children who are probably in the crowd watching this dehumanizing scene being done to an innocent Man – Alexander and Rufus saw that their father pressed on and Simon carried the cross.
Would they not have been scared as they saw their father led away and given the burden of a condemned man?
Fathers have such an important role in the lives of their families and children. Too often, we have witnessed or even experienced the consequences of a father who has failed or abandoned his family. Our hope is that fathers would recommit themselves to their promises and responsibilities, helping shoulder the burdens of family living.
In the same way, Mothers need to be supportive and help out in providing and nurturing their children and setting a good example to others as well, emanating kindness, respect, and care especially outside their homes.
We also trust that, no matter what the conduct of our earthly fathers and mothers, we have a Father in heaven who will not abandon us, turn away for us, or leave us to carry our own crosses alone.
Let us pray: God Our Father, help us to carry each other crosses, teach us to manage our roles in each of our homes within our family. Teach us your ways Lord, equip us to strengthen the bond within our families so that in return we can be able to reach out other families by being a good living personal witness in the best that we can, Amen.
Station 9: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem (sculpture on North side of City Hall, on 24th Street between 3rd and 4th avenues)
A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’ (Luke 23:27-31)
Reflection by Diocese of Saskatoon Office of Migration, read by Bernice Daratha
When looking at the cross on Good Friday all of time becomes present. As we listen to our Lord, he tells us to not be saddened by his crucifixion but to weep today for ourselves – for the times we have crucified those we see as different. The Lord reminds us that when we reject those who are vulnerable we reject Him. If we have nailed our Lord and savior to a cross, an instrument of violence, what will we do to those who are strangers? New Canadians often face the wound of not being welcomed. Below this wound lie many other wounds such as loneliness, misunderstanding, separation and sometimes rejection. Like Christ, they too know what it is like not to feel at home in this world.
Let us pray: For all those who see “home” and all it means disappear behind them; for all those who cannot see a home in the days ahead of them; for all those who dwell in daily insecurity; for all those who are weary and without a safe place to rest their heads; for all families in migration we pray… We are blessed with returning to a home each day. May we also be blessed with compassion for those who long to remain in their homes, but due to war and oppression, cannot. They are still weary, still seeking, still with so far to go. Blessed are You, Lord God of Mercy. Help us always to recognize that our blessings come from You, and remind us to share them with others, especially those who come to us today from other lands. Help us to be generous, just, and welcoming, as You are generous, just, and loving to us, Amen.
Station 10: Jesus is crucified (Corner of 24 Street E and 4th Avenue N on City Hall lawn, across from HMCS Unicorn)
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. … When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’ (Luke 23:33,47)
Reflection by Dawn Kellington, Development and Peace (Caritas Canada)
Jesus freely gives his life for the salvation of his sisters and brothers, and the glory of the Father. In what ways today do we give of ourselves in creating peace on Earth for our sisters and brothers around the world?
Pope Francis in his Invocation for Peace said, “peacemaking calls … for the courage to say yes to encounter and no to conflict: yes to dialogue and no to violence; yes to negotiations and no to hostilities; yes to respect for agreements and no to acts of provocation; yes to sincerity and no to duplicity. All of this takes courage, it takes strength and tenacity.”
Faced with a world disfigured by violence, hatred, and fear we sometimes see peace as an inaccessible ideal. Yet peace is omnipresent, huddled deep in the heart of each and every one of us. Even when it seems forever lost, trampled, ignored, or destroyed, peace resists. Peace is a survivor and a force that propels the whole of humanity towards its light. Let us release the light of peace so that it may shine in all its glory.
Jesus suffered and was crucified amidst conflict, but his death brought and continues to bring hope and peace. Are we living in the redemptive hope and peace that Jesus brings? Are we listening to the cries of those who long for peace- within our community, our country and worldwide? Are we choosing to build peace in our daily lives, as Jesus did in His?
Let us pray: Lord, we pray for those who live in places of conflict and for those who do not know peace. We pray for everyone here, that we would say yes to being peacemakers and have the strength to work for reconciliation through dialogue and listening.
We pray for peace. Amen.
Station 11: Jesus promises his Kingdom to the good thief (alley entrance, 23rd Street between 4th and 5th avenues)
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. Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they cast lots to divide his clothing. …
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’ (Luke 23:33-34,39-43)
Reflection by Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
On that hill at Calvary, three men hang on crosses. Each dying in excruciating pain. One sarcastically taunts Jesus, calling out for personal liberation, salvation that Jesus is unable to deliver without abandoning his mission to bring redemption to all. The other from a position of openness and faith, asks: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus responds “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Faith in Christ earned the Good thief a place in Paradise because our God is “rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4), it was his faith that leads to his reconciliation with the Creator.
In Canada, many First Nation, Inuit, and Métis people find it hard to maintain faith in Christian institutions because of the way that the churches collaborated with the government’s policy of ‘aggressive assimilation’ in the past. The residential school scandal is indeed a national disgrace, but when that scandal is allowed to become a stumbling block to faith, that too, is a scandal — literally (the very word ‘scandal’ means an obstacle to ‘faith in’ or ‘obedience to God’.)
God’s mercy transforms us — it enables us to overcome our alienation, our hurts, our wounds, and to see ourselves as we are, to recognize ourselves as “having an inner being in which truth is present” (Thomas Merton). God’s mercy which flows through Christ’s wounds says to a thief: “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” God’s mercy that calls to us today to face up to the wrongs of the past, to seek for forgiveness, and to be reconciled. The prophet Joel, calls us to, “Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness …” (Joel 2:13).
In Prayer let us ponder: Do we allow ourselves to stand in the mercy of God, as faith-filled people— open to forgiveness and reconciliation, or do we prefer to sarcastically scoff at those who work for reconciliation and healing?
Today we ask for God’s mercy and guidance as we build a culture of reconciliation. Amen.
Station 12: Jesus on the cross, his mother and his disciple (in front of Palisades Home, 23rd Street between 5th Avenue and Spadina Crescent)
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home. (John 19:25b-27)
Reflection by L’Arche Saskatoon
Jesus hung on the cross, rejected and scorned by so many. Only his mother, and a few faithful friends, remained beside him.
People with intellectual disabilities often endure a similar loneliness, with very few people in their lives who are willing to stay close and name them as friends. Parents are often isolated, supporting a handicapped son or daughter with very little help or support from a caring community.
Jesus knew that his mother would need support, and he appointed his disciple to care for her as a son. Jesus also calls and invites us to draw close to those who are alone, needing friendship and community.
Let us pray: We thank you, God, for your great love for us. On Good Friday, as we remember Jesus’ death on a cross, we see what your love looks like. Help us to love others with the love that you have shown for us, especially those who are most in need of friendship. Amen.
Station 13: Jesus dies on the cross (in front of Colliers Real Estate, Spadina Crescent between 23rd and 22nd streets)
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:44-46)
Scripture read by Knights of Columbus D’Arcy McGee Assembly #1065, organized by Adrien Piche
Please observe a time of silent reflection.
Station 14: Jesus is placed in the tomb (steps of St. Paul’s Co-Cathedral, Spadina Crescent and 22nd Street)
Now there was a good and righteous man named Joseph, who, though a member of the council, had not agreed to their plan and action. He came from the Jewish town of Arimathea, and he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid it in a rock-hewn tomb where no one had ever been laid. It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. (Luke 23:50-54)
Reflection written and read by the Saskatoon and area church leaders
Jesus is laid in the tomb, and with him all hope that the Messiah might vanquish the Romans, restore Israel, and rule in earthly splendour. For that is not what Jesus came to do, that is not who Jesus claimed to be. Jesus dies as so many before and since, at the hand of others who oppress, exploit, and consume. His suffering is our suffering, for he takes upon himself the suffering of all, and he shares the fate of all humanity, to die and be placed in a cold dark tomb. Christian tradition holds that Jesus’ death was a true death, and that he descends into hell with all the souls of the dead. But in fulfillment of the prophets, he is raised again from the dead, and he breaks the chains of bondage, releasing those enslaved by sin, rescuing those who suffer injustice, restoring all creation, and reconciling all people.
So Jesus’ story does not end here, in the tomb of Good Friday. Our story does not end in tragedy and despair. We need not flee like the disciples in fear for the future, because we know as people of faith that Jesus will rise from this tomb, and so we live in faith and hope that we too will rise with Christ on the last day.
Pause to sing
Let us pray for all who suffer: for the hungry and the homeless, the deprived and the oppressed, for the sick, the wounded, and the handicapped, for those in loneliness and in fear, for those in confusion, doubt, and despair, for the sorrowful and bereaved, for prisoners, and all at the point of death, that God’s love will comfort and sustain them, and that we may be stirred up to minister to them.
Faithful and compassionate God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer, hear the cry of all who call on you in any trouble, grant them the joy of receiving your help in their need, and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Sisters and brothers, let us end our way of the cross by joining together to pray, each in our own language, with the words that Jesus gave us. Together let us say, Our Father …
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and grant you peace. Amen.
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always. Amen.