Third Station : Jesus falls the first time
And Jesus answered them :
“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, Truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour?”
No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name. (John 12, 23-28)
Jesus has suffered the frightful Roman scourging; a torture under which many would have died. This night of insults, and interrogation has deprived him of any sleep. Both his hands, and his heart have been torn asunder by the crown of thorns. How can one measure the acuteness of the pain that pierces his soul? The thankfulness of it all makes us sick.
Jesus does not only carry the hurt of Judas betrayal. There is the sorrow of witnessing his own people condemn the Messiah they had so longed for. Added to this, there is the weight of the sins of the entire world ; of all men, from Adam to the last on earth. A burden beyond measure!
Once the normal reservoir of strength has been fully tapped, there is yet more room for mortification! Those hidden reserves, that act outside of the will are aroused by the vigor of the blows.
Christ would be waiting in vain for thoses soldiers who had, only hours ago furiously flogged him, to somehow slacken in their onslaught.
This brutality makes atonement for our transgressions; those that we commit by our own willfullness; those also that stem from the disordered nature inherited from our first parents after the Fall.
As his humanity undergores the tortuous passage through this winepress of affliction, it is the fullness of our human nature that the Redeemer sanctifies.
Through his gruelling passion, Jesus brings life, and redemption to the
innermost regions of our being.
Our Father who art in heaven,
come to the aid of your Son consumed by his ordeal.
In Him, grant light to unbelievers; mercy to sinners;
and lift those who have fallen,
out of their dejection by the Bread of Life.