The Third Station: Jesus Falls the First Time
All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads. (Psalm 22:7)
After only a few steps, not even out of the city gates, Jesus falls to His knees. He had spent the previous night being interrogated, scourged, and ridiculed. He has had nothing to eat or drink since the Last Supper. As the soldiers impatiently shove and prod Him forward, the weight of His cross throws Him off balance. The teeming crowd erupts, eager to demonstrate its loyalties.
Jesus, under the weight of Your cross, You fell. You were being watched by the crowd of people, some sympathetic, many jeering. Your weakness was public. I fail so many times during the day, but I am able to hide those failures in the privacy of my home or in the privacy of my soul. Only You know the truth of how many times and how hard I fall each day: my judgment of other mothers, my stinginess with my time when I am needed at home or in my community, the grudges I hold against my spouse and even against my children. When others do see my vices, how quickly, how easily do I explain them away or justify them. Your fall was brought on by the weight of my sins, but You did not make excuses.
Points to consider:
Do I have the humility to acknowledge my sins by asking pardon of those I have injured with my short temper or loose tongue?
Do I lead my children by example in apologizing when I have been lazy or impatient, especially with them?
After I sin, do I get up again by clinging to Your cross and offering some sacrifice in reparation for my sins and those of others?
I know that the best way to get rid of that pride that allows my sins to thrive in anonymity is to seek forgiveness by claiming my guilt in Confession. Do I show my children that I know I need Confession and that going frequently gives me great joy and peace?
Afflictions are the steps to heaven. -Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, mother