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***For the next two weeks, I will be steering my Lenten Blog Challenge into the direction of The Way of the Cross, also known as The Stations of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa. These names are used to signify either a series of pictures or tableaux representing certain scenes in the Passion of Christ, each corresponding to a particular incident, or the special form of devotion connected with such representations. I will be posting a Station each day, then reflecting on that Station. To read more about the Way of the Cross, click HERE.


The walk has ended but the mockery  has not. Jesus is now stripped of his last earthly possession – his Clothing. Exposed for all to see, His wounds are clearly visible now - as are the fruits of our sins: the cruelty of man and the presence of evil. The shame of Adam's nakedness bore witness to his sin but the
shame of Christ's nakedness bears witness to our sin. Onlookers stare and soldiers gamble as Jesus awaits the final insult.


I can't imagine how humiliating it would have felt to feel Jesus' pain during this mockery.  The evil of the soldiers looked powerful to others, but He knew who held the true power. I think it is necessary for us to encounter "soldiers" as well. Sometimes people spread rumors, or talk behind our backs because we are different. I think that being a young Catholic Christian in this time is like being a target for others to watch and shame with every human mistake we make. When we profess our faith, go to Mass, wear a mantilla, pray at the abortion clinic, or like my husband, give out miraculous medals at the fair, we set ourselves apart from "the world." We notice our friends list beginning to fade-- less invites from those who used to call us friends, more space between us and those we used to hang around. People don't like holiness because from the outside it seems so powerless. People like to be in charge and aren't ready to give up this world, for Him. It might mean avoiding things that others don't seem as "a big deal" or it might mean standing up for your beliefs, even if the rest of the world thinks "you're crazy." Even though we have the ability to fight back in the assault-- we don't. Our silence is much more powerful-- our prayer and forgiveness of them is much more powerful. Power isn't with the soldiers that ridiculed Him, but in the grace that he knows will come of being crucified. Power is within those that set themselves apart.

St. Josemaria Escriva tell us that,"A heart which loves the things of the earth beyond measure is like one fastened by a chain — or by a “ fine thread” — which stops it flying to God." Jesus had to expose everything, while being mocked, insulted, and ridiculed. If Jesus, the Son of God had to endure such belittlement, why wouldn't we? Living as a Christian, setting yourself apart to be holy, will  break the chain we have between our worldly desires and God. Changing doesn't just change our lives, but the lives of the people we encounter. 

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