Every year, Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Via Crucis (the Way of the Cross) from Rome’s Coliseum. Tonight on Perspectives, S+L’s Vatican correspondent Alicia Ambrosio retraces the history of the Stations of the Cross, and how it came to be that the Holy Father would lead this devotion in a former site of Christian persecution.
Along with all the Holy Week and Easter events from the Vatican, S+L will be airing the Via Crucis live. It begins at 3 pm, with an encore presentation at 9:30 pm (all times Eastern). Consult our online programming schedule for the times of our live and repeat broadcasts.
This year’s meditations, written by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, former papal vicar of Rome, are available on the Vatican website. Alternatively, you can print and follow the meditations, as compiled below on a single page by Catholic News Service.
When the Apostle Philip asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father,” he replied, “Have I been with you all this time, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:8-9). This evening, as we accompany Jesus in our hearts while he makes his way beneath the cross, let us not forget those words. Even as he carries the cross, even in his death on the cross, Jesus remains the Son, who is one with God the Father.
When we look upon his face disfigured by beating, weariness and inner suffering, we see the face of the Father. Indeed, it is precisely in this moment that God’s glory, his surpassing splendour, in some way becomes visible on the face of Jesus. In this poor, suffering man whom Pilate, in the hope of eliciting compassion, showed to the Jews with the words “Behold the man!” (Jn 19:5), we see revealed the true greatness of God, that mysterious grandeur beyond all our imagining.
CNS photo/Alessia Pierdomenico, Reuters