When we did the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, we were taken aback by the fact that one has to wander through market places, and across streets. But in Jesus' time, city life did not stop from noon until 3:00 p.m. for his Crucifixion. Much like the violence and terror we experience today, the stories of people's suffering and death fades into the background of all the other news stories.
The other night at a parish meeting a parishioner had brought up the fact that in our Parish stations of the cross, the meditations we use, poverty, injustice, violence, and discrimination, have nothing to do with what the stations of the cross are about. I couldn't respond since my mouth was on the floor. When St. Paul reflects upon the Paschal Mystery he points out that through Sin and Evil we become strangers in our relationship with God. By the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we once again have unity and communion with God.
But there is still that propensity to sin. Evil has a way to make bad things look good. On Ash Wednesday I pondered why it is that I had such a great desire to graze on snacks, though normally I do not snack during the day. Temptation abounds. Suffering, violence, and poverty, are in part of our Sinful human condition. So throughout our lives we are challenged by the way of the cross even in the market-place and on street corners.
While we are not called to be monks and nuns, we are challenged to ponder the mysteries of our faith; and so to live them with courage and faith. Christ crucified calls us out of darkness, to walk the Way with our brothers and sisters.