Stations of the Cross: Good Shepherd Theme

Reflection on this holy card sparked this week’s meditations
on the Stations of the Cross during my time of Eucharistic Adoration
in the chapel of the school where my prince teaches:

The sheep that stay always near
to the shepherd
are the most favored.
He gives them always
some part of the nourishment
with which He himself is nourished."
~St. Teresa of Jesus (St. Teresa of Avila)
Copyright:Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

1st Station: Jesus is condemned to death
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world
(at this point in each Station, I kiss the ground,
as I would if I were in Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa–
which is what the Stations are meant to represent)

The lost sheep is a condemnation of the Shepherd-a rejection of Him,
preferring something else over Him (illusion though it is),
going its own way, not wanting to stay close to Him

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

2nd Station: Jesus takes up His Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

The Shepherd takes up His staff for the search

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

3rd Station: Jesus falls the first time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

The search is over rough terrain. The Shepherd falls.
He goes over every nook and cranny, searching for His sheep.
He expects His sheep to have fallen, and gets down to search for it.
He will not “stand on ceremony”.
No spot is too distasteful or low or dangerous for Him
(brothels, bars, the rough side of town, etc.)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

4th Station: Jesus meets His mother
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

"She brought me back to You,
O my Good Shepherd.
I will never leave you again."
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://divinebergere.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 24, 1012

The shepherdess joins the search. She, too, loves the lost

Tell me, you whom my soul loves,
where you pasture your flock,
where you make it lie down at noon;
for why should I be like one who wanders
beside the flocks of your companions?
If you do not know, O fairest among women,
follow in the tracks of the flock
and pasture your kids beside the shepherd’s tents
-Song of Songs 1:7-8

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

5th Station: Simon of Cyrene is forced to help Jesus carry the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Some are not so willing, but join the search by unworthy motives–
still God can use them.
They have no love for the sheep or the Shepherd-but that can change!
Being in God’s company tends to do that
(although that’s not absolute–it didn’t work for Judas)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

6th Station: Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Others give a little help along the way.
They share the reward nonetheless–
God appreciates the smallest gestures and repays accordingly

And whoever gives…even a cup of cold water…
shall not lose his reward
-Matthew 10:42

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

7th Station: Jesus falls a second time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

The Shepherd keeps lowering Himself.
This cave? This ravine? This tight spot?
Where’s My beloved sheep?!
He’s getting dirty, scraped up, weary in the search,
but He’s steadfast, determined.
He won’t rest until He’s found His own!
He’s getting down low for a sheep’s eye view
to see where he might’ve gone
(through a hole in the hedge invisible from a higher vantage point?)

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

8th Station: Jesus meets the weeping women of Jerusalem
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Don’t weep-search!
You have your own lost sheep to find.
Don’t waste precious time in despondency over Me.
Pluck up your courage and bring them back–
you’ll be doing Me a much greater service that way
than by merely wallowing in sympathy

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

9th Station: Jesus falls a third time
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

Down again. He just won’t quit.
Lower and lower He searches.
More and more mud and briars and stones are ground into Him.
He doesn’t care.
His thoughts are riveted on finding His sheep.
He spies it!

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

The Good Shepherd
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

10th Station: 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

His garments are ripped off. He’s going through briars, clothing caught.
He won’t let that stop Him.
He leaves His robes behind and presses on.
St. Clare said that if you’re stripped, the enemy can’t hold you (poverty–First Letter to St. Agnes of Prague).
Wrestlers used to strip for combat for that reason.
The young man in Gethsemane left his garment behind
in the hands of his would-be captors
& ran off (see Mark 14:51).

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

11th Station: Jesus is crucified
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

His lamb is in the lion’s mouth (David: see I Samuel 17:34-35).
He’s manhandled, set upon by wild beasts, pierced–
many dogs surround Him (Psalm 22:16).
His heart is set on His sheep.
He takes them on.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

12th Station: Jesus dies on the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

It’s a fight to the death. He gives His life for His sheep

The Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://agardenenclosed-carmel.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 12, 1012

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

13th Station: Jesus is taken down from the Cross
We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world

It looks like it’s over.
The Shepherd’s friends claim what’s left of Him.

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

14th Station: 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

He’s gone lower than anyone dreamed He could,
down to the gates of the netherworld itself.
There He’s found His lost sheep,
hoisted it on His shoulders and begun the journey Home
(tombs opened and many were raised and appeared to those in Jerusalem after Jesus rose from the dead, see Matthew 27:52-53).
The harrowing of hell

THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Rejoice, for I have found my sheep that was lost.
Luke 15:6
Copyright: Holy Card Heaven
http://imagesofthegoodshepherd.blogspot.com/
Accessed April 30, 2012

Our Father…
Hail Mary…
Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us.

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