Today is Friday and Fridays during Lent are a traditional day for Stations of the Cross. Many churches have evening services where people do the Stations in groups. Others like to pray them individually.
There are many versions of the Stations and many people have their own favorite – whether it is Clarence Enzler’s Everyone’s Way of the Cross (one of my favorites) or the St. Alphonsus Liguori Stations of the Cross or the Social Justice Stations of the Cross and so on.
The one I picked to reflect on this week is The Stations of the Cross with Mary, from Creighton University Online Ministries.
For all of us who have suffered the loss of a loved one (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of us), the prayer of the Fourteenth Station, Jesus is laid in the tomb is a very powerful one. Here it is:
No mother should ever have to bury a child. Just a short time before this day, Jesus looked into Lazarus’ tomb. He must have known he would be laid in a tomb like that soon. And when he thanked God for hearing his prayer, he must have known that the Father who sent him would give him life that would never die. In just a few days, this tomb would be empty and forever a sign of Jesus’ surrender to the forces of sin and death, for us.
As we picture this scene, let us place the image of the empty tomb before our eyes. Whenever you are tempted to stand outside any tomb and grieve, remember this empty tomb and know that, through the eyes of faith, all tombs are empty. Today, join me in giving him thanks. Join me in signing ourselves with the sign of his cross, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Even during Lent, we remember that the tomb is empty. I’m reminded, as I pray Mary’s prayer, of the some lines of a song I’ve heard used as a recessional hymn, Goodness is Stronger than Evil: “Vic’try is ours, vict’ry is ours through him who loved us. Vic’try is ours, vic’try is ours through him who loved us.”