Frj82’s Blog

March 30, 2009

Stations Sermon

Filed under: Sermons — frj82 @ 2:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I am posting a sermon I preached a couple of weeks ago, more in the middle than the end of Lent.  I am doing this because someone quoted it to me yesterday so I figure it must have made some sense:

Today, we have walked the Way of the Cross.  We have read and prayed about 14 points in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s final hours.  Every once in a while, when I am at Stations, my mind strays a little bit.  I’m sure we have all done it before, and I am sure that in some point in your life, you thought about the cross.  About how big it was, how heavy it was.  Was it smooth or did it leave splinters in Jesus’ hands and shoulders?  We know that it didn’t look as perfect and as symmetrical as it does when we see it in Church or at our home.  Nope, it was rugged, just like the song says.  It probably still had bark on it, maybe dried-up sap, knots and nubs of branches sticking out. Worse yet, it was probably a hand-me-down.  The cross on which our Savior died was very likely stained by the blood of another. 


Yet this object of torture, this ugly, depressing, scary object, has become the symbol of our faith.  Not a nice six-pointed star like in Judaism, not a crescent moon like Islam, not lotus flower or anything flowery.  No, our symbol is the instrument in which our Messiah was put to death.  We know that the cross means more though.  To Jesus, it was the climax of his mission on earth as a human.  When he received the cross, he received it on one hand in utter terror, knowing that he would be hanging on it dead within a few hours.  On the other hand, he received it with a secret joy; that this is where he would fulfill that redemptive act. It must have been odd for Jesus to know that he was dying for the sins of the very people who were killing him. 


We followed Jesus Christ tonight after he received his cross.  We see that he indeed made it to Golgotha, the hill of the skull, with only a little bit of help.  It is there that the symbolism of the cross becomes clear.  It is the sign of Christ’s love and strength for us.  It is the sign of evil’s attempt at taking life…and Jesus’ victory over evil.  It is the sign of redemption, made possible by the spilling of the blood of our Lord and Savior. 


As a kid who would often attend Stations, I would hopelessly listen to each one, thinking of how unfair certain ones were.  A mock trial, only seeing his mother for a little bit, only given vinegar to drink.  As I aged and steered towards the priesthood, I learned to draw strength from scripture.  From the 2nd Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians (2Cor 5:21) “Christ never sinned.  But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ could make us acceptable to God.”  He lowered himself to the point of death to bring us up to eternal life.  It is this victory we pray over and celebrate as we continue through the Lenten Season.


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