a) Reflection on God’s Word:
Jesus is arrested: The apostle-traitor brought soldiers and temple guards with torches into Gethsemane. He came near to Jesus and gave Him a traitorous kiss. And the soldiers seized Jesus.
Jesus before Annas: They brought Him to the high priest Annas. He questioned Jesus about many things. One of the guards struck Jesus in the face.
Jesus before Caiaphas: When they had bound Him, Annas sent Jesus to the high priest Caiaphas. Caiaphas said: “I put You under oath by the living God, tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God.” Jesus replied: “You have said so.” The high priest tore his clothes and said: “He has uttered blasphemy!” The crowd began to shout: “He deserves death!” Then they started to spit in Jesus’ face and strike Him on the head.
Peter denies Christ: Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. Here he denied Christ three times, swearing: “I do not know the man.” When the rooster crowed, Peter remembered the words of the Lord. He went out and wept bitterly.
The first time before Pilate: In the morning, the Church hierarchy led Jesus bound away to Pilate, the governor. After hearing both sides, Pilate said: “I find no guilt in this man.” The Church hierarchy intensified the psychological terror. By promises and threats they forced the state power to commit a crime. It is the same today.
Jesus before Herod: Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, that he should decide the matter.
The second time before Pilate: Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. The Church hierarchy urged Pilate to condemn Jesus to death.
Barabbas: They had then a hated criminal Barabbas who was sentenced to death. When Pilate asked them whether they wanted him to release Jesus or Barabbas, they chose Barabbas. And they demanded death for Jesus.
Jesus is scourged: Pilate believed that the Church hierarchy would be satisfied with cruel scourging and calm down. He ordered Jesus to be scourged.
Jesus is crowned with thorns: The soldiers then put a crown of thorns on His head, spat in His face, struck His head and mocked Him.
Ecce homo: Pilate presented the scourged Jesus with a crown of thorns on His head before the Church hierarchy and the fanaticized crowd. They shouted: “Away with Him, crucify Him!”
Jesus is condemned to death: Pilate hypocritically washed his hands, saying: “I am guiltless of the blood of this righteous one.” And he delivered Jesus to death.
Jesus takes up His cross: Jesus’ words are true for everyone and in every time: “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.”
Jesus falls under the weight of the cross: The heavy cross strikes the tortured Jesus to the ground. We also break down under the weight of our cross. We have to deny ourselves and rise.
Jesus meets His Mother: No one has ever been in a deeper union with Jesus than His Mother. She is His most faithful disciple. She is the model for us to follow.
Simon of Cyrene: They compelled Simon to carry His cross.
Veronica: Tradition has it that this woman offered Jesus a headcloth. It was not only an act of compassion but of great courage too.
Jesus falls the second time: Jesus falls under the weight of the cross. We often fall too. But we have to rise again and continue the way of carrying our everyday cross.
The weeping women: Jesus admonishes them: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
Jesus falls the third time: The last fall was most painful. Jesus gives us the example of readiness to rise again. We also have to summon all mental and physical strength and follow Him.
Jesus is stripped of His garments: Jesus came to Golgotha. The soldiers stripped Him of the robe and led Him away to crucify Him.
b) Recitation of God’s Word (5 min):
We all repeat: “Jesus said: ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’” (Mt 16:24)
c) Prayer according to God’s Word (5 min):
We all say together: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa*”, and one of us adds: “I deny myself and take up my cross.”
d) Prayer of the heart (5 min):
We call: “Ye-ho-shu-aa-aa-aa...”
Now I realize: “I follow You!”