St. Anthony – Monthly Meditation
Reflections on Jesus’ Passion and Death
by Deacon Dan Barone
by Fr. Roger A. Synek
For many years I have desired to write a set of reflections for the Catholic tradition we call Stations of the Cross, but it was not until COVID-19 forced us to broadcast our services online and avoid violating copyright laws that I felt inspired to try again. The stations consist of fourteen reflections on the Passion and Death of Jesus. Woven within these reflections is a theme to surrender oneself to Jesus. This article cannot include all fourteen reflections, but I have included four. As you read them and reflect upon your own life, it is my hope that you will turn more of your life over to Jesus and let him guide you to Eternal Life.
Jesus carries His cross: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. ⊂ How can Jesus carry the cross? It is not light. In fact, I am sure it is quite painful and awkward. Just the slightest movement brings pain from open wounds and thorns that pierce his head. Jesus, my Lord, how is your surrender to the Father’s plan the strength that enables you to endure such pain? I find that I shy away from just the slightest discomfort. I know you want me to have this strength to surrender to your plan. I also know you want me to ask. So, I humbly beg you, please Lord, give me your strength and the desire to surrender to your plan.
Jesus is stripped of his garments: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. ⊂ You made it to Calvary! And now you surrender your clothes. How embarrassing! Everyone can see. With no clothes, your wounds are exposed. Laughing soldiers divide your garments among them by rolling dice. How demoralizing! I do not like to be embarrassed or laughed at. Nor do I like others to see my wounds. I shrivel up and hide. O Jesus, the depth of your love for your Father gives you such confidence and trust. You know that he will not laugh at you. Nor will he humiliate you. Please give me this deep love so that when I stand before you naked and with my wounds exposed, I will not fear you.
Jesus dies on the cross: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. ⊂ Every breath is painful. Yet you speak. “Father, forgive them.” Seconds become minutes! Minutes become hours! You breathe your last. You surrender your spirit. The earth quakes. “It is finished.” My Lord and my God, you even surrender your soul. All part of your Father’s plan! I too, one day must breathe my last. I too must surrender my soul. Jesus, give me the grace to have complete confidence that when that day comes, I know I will not be alone. Just as the Father was there for you, so you will be there for me.
Jesus is laid in the tomb: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you. Because by your Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world. ⊂ The Sabaoth Day is fast approaching. Clean linen respectfully covers your body. Gently laid in a rock-hewn tomb your body rests. Cold stone seals the entrance. Now they wait. Lord Jesus, you have given everything. Nothing of yours remains. Your tomb belongs to someone else. They burry you in hast. They have more to do on the third day. I cannot even begin to comprehend the depth of your abandonment to your Father’s plan. Astounding! Please Lord Jesus, give me the grace to completely surrender everything till nothing remains. You have given me life and you will give me death. Please, Lord Jesus, may my life and death glorify your name forever.
Fr. Roger A. Synek
St. Anthony Catholic Church