Station IX: Jesus falls a third time
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you:
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has besieged me and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago. Though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes. “Remember, O Lord, my affliction and bitterness, the wormwood and the gall!”
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter:
And like a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth.
Reflection: Kyrie Eleison
Jesus falls the third time, and the weight of the world seems to fall upon us, too. The third time can feel like the end, the crushing and powerful point of no return. We stand at this station, feeling the weight of this third fall and acknowledging the greatness of our own human frailty as we watch Jesus fall beneath the weight of the cross. At this same moment, with humble gratitude, our great High Priest sympathizes with our weakness, grants mercy to us when we bear the unbearable weight of the world, reminds us that even at the point where we lose all hope we are never, ever alone. The weight of these three betrayals, three falls, these next three days…and yet, unbounded mercy, love and grace endure.
In Lent, we often pray in threes:
The Trisagion: Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us/Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us/Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us.
Kyrie Eleison/Christe Eleison/Kyrie Eleison
Lord have mercy/Christ have mercy/Lord have mercy.
Perhaps our triple-woven prayers can help us deepen into the depth of God’s boundless love and mystery.
O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.